Rome Smith, a New Jersey detention officer at the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Center, was suspended after making a comment on Facebook regarding the murder of Cannon Hinnant, the five-year-old boy from North Carolina who was shot while riding his bike outside of his family home.
The comment was described as "shockingly insensitive and racist in tone," by the Center, resulting in Smith's suspension from the staff.
Rome Smith you’re a POS https://t.co/RqcaNH5rn4— wendy evans (@wendy evans)1597511676.0
How many things have to go horribly wrong for Cumberland county juvenile detention center in NJ to finally be inves… https://t.co/FFnFugoGt2— Robin Robin (@Robin Robin)1597866330.0
Rome Smith you are despicable! A little boy was assassinated! https://t.co/VGAmz6WizI— Susan Jorgensen (@Susan Jorgensen)1597859180.0
New Jersey detention officer Rome Smith was suspended for posting this hateful comment on FaceBook about 5-year-old… https://t.co/XaIulu3VMJ— Amy (@Amy)1597867725.0
@thespeakeasy11 Rome Smith needs to be reprimanded— Anna DV (@Anna DV)1597463106.0
The comment said that the little boy "should've ducked" from his assailant's shot.
"We will not tolerate county employees using social media to broadcast hateful messages," Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella said. "This is not who we are and we intend to pursue the strongest action available to us."
@GovMurphy you need to addresss this individual in your state making obvious racist and very disturbing posts. He i… https://t.co/R51u6HHvyw— Anna DV (@Anna DV)1597463637.0
@dv_devain @GovMurphy Rome Smith needs to be fired. I certainly don't want my children around him. He may be prone… https://t.co/TEcrzzk45g— Sandra (@Sandra)1597866215.0
Here’s why no child deserves death #romesmith https://t.co/5BoNulyQeE— Karmen Tennyson (@Karmen Tennyson)1597873467.0
What a piece of crap you are Rome Smith he is a five-year-old little boy riding his bicycle with his sisters are yo… https://t.co/E6HTToTb7U— Dee Eglseder (@Dee Eglseder)1597870061.0
"Y'all always trying to sneak diss and discredit a Black person being killed innocently by police," read another part of the message.
Smith's words were a response to when Hinnant was killed and his death was used to post anti-Black rhetoric against Black Lives Matter.
Let's just put this into perspective. R.I.P. Cannon Hinnant, an innocent young life cruelly taken. https://t.co/TCdqz5hm9g— proud to be british 🇬🇧 (@proud to be british 🇬🇧)1597573639.0
@CoryBooker How about Cannon Hinnant say his name— Boozman (@Boozman)1597715088.0
While Hinnant's parents themselves said the murder was "no racial issue," and that the boy's killer, 25-year-old Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, who is Black, was likely hallucinating on drugs when the murder was committed; the dialogue rages on.
Cannon Hinnant's family want the death penalty for the child's murderer. https://t.co/KJRxW9gLkj— Orwell & Goode (@Orwell & Goode)1597688492.0
@JoeBiden David Dorn and Cannon Hinnant should also be alive today!💔😢— HesterPrynne987 (@HesterPrynne987)1597717289.0
Notice the difference. #GeorgeFloyd #CannonHinnant https://t.co/BovTmcfY1m— Angelo John Gage (@Angelo John Gage)1597677901.0
A five-year-old child's life is being used as a tool to discredit Black Lives Matter, though his parents have openly disavowed the notion that their son was murdered because he was White or because his killer was Black.
Though Smith's comment was certainly "shockingly insensitive" at best, why is a child's life fodder for a conservative agenda with strong roots in systemic racism?
Smith has not made any comment on his suspension thus far.