Most Read

Top stories


New Jersey Detention Officer Suspended After 'Shockingly Insensitive' Comment About Fatally Shot Boy

New Jersey Detention Officer Suspended After 'Shockingly Insensitive' Comment About Fatally Shot Boy
Photo via Gwen Hinnant

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.

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."

"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.

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.

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.