A detention officer from New Jersey who allegedly mocked murdered 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant has been suspended.
Rome Smith, who works at the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Center, wrote on Facebook Friday that Cannon, who was shot in the head at point-blank range by his next door neighbor, “should’ve ducked,” according to the New York Post.
“He should’ve ducked,” wrote the 49-year-old Smith. “Y’all always trying to sneak diss and discredit a black person being killed innocently by police. Blame Cannon’s parents for not watching him!”
It appears the suspended detention officer’s Facebook account has since been suspended.
Cumberland County officials released a statement Tuesday. Though it did not explicitly include Smith’s name, authorities condemned the post as “shockingly insensitive and racist in tone,” NBC News reported.
“We will not tolerate county employees using social media to broadcast hateful messages,” said Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella. “This is not who we are and we intend to pursue the strongest action available to us.”
State records indicated Smith has been enrolled in the state pension system for 26 years and draws an annual salary of $56,678.
Cannon was murdered earlier this month by alleged killer Darius Sessoms, 25, who has been arrested and remains in police custody.
The little North Carolina boy was apparently riding his bike in the front yard when Sessoms approached him and shot him. The murder took place just hours after the Hinnant family had invited Sessoms over for dinner the night before.
Bonny Waddell, Cannon’s mother, told local media outlets she is advocating for capital punishment for Sessoms.
“My baby didn’t deserve this,” she said. “He had the biggest smile, the biggest eyes. … He changed all of our lives. He touched everybody that he knew.”