Image source: WRAL-TV video screenshot
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Why is there a media blackout on the execution killing of the 5-year-old boy who was innocently riding his bicycle?
Major news networks have not reported on the atrocious of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant. The blackout of coverage on the murder of the young boy has sparked the hashtag #SayHisName on Twitter.
As reported at TheBlaze, Cannon Hinnant was riding his bicycle in front of his father's house in North Carolina early Sunday evening. That's when Darius N. Sessoms allegedly walked up to the boy, put a gun to his head, and executed him. Then Sessoms, a 25-year-old convicted felon, fled to his home next door in the town of Wilson.
The gruesome murder was reportedly witnessed by Hinnant's 7-year-old and 8-year-old sisters, as well as neighbor Doris Labrant.
"My first reaction was he's playing with the kids," Lybrand told WRAL. "For a second, I thought, 'That couldn't happen.' People don't run across the street and kill kids."
First responders transported the boy to Wilson Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Sessoms later drove away in a 2019 Toyota Corolla, but was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Task Force. He was charged with first-degree murder. Sessoms has a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple felony drug charges, multiple felony probation violations, and charges on his record for possessing stolen firearms.
A neighbor said that Sessoms and Cannon's father, Austin Hinnant, had dinner together Saturday night and that Sessoms was at his neighbor's home before the murder on Sunday.
"We used to play together and I never thought he'd kill someone. A mother now has to lay her son to rest at 5 years old which she should never have to do. He'll never be forgotten," Hinnant's cousin Rachel Pipkin told WNCN.
"He would come over, him and my husband would always talk back and forth and he would ask my husband to put air in his tire," neighbor Charlene Walburn said of the boy. "If he saw me on the porch with a popsicle, he would always come over and ask me if he could have a popsicle."
By Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, the hashtag #SayHisName trended on Twitter. Many, including Jason Howerton, pointed out that there was zero coverage of Cannon Hinnant's murder by several mainstream media networks.
At the time of publication, a search of "Cannon Hinnant" produced no results on the websites of ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME, or Newsweek. It appears that Fox News was the only mainstream media to cover the horrible death of the 5-year-old boy. International news outlets such as the Sun, Daily Mail, and the Independent have reported on the boy's murder.
Cannon Hinnant's funeral will be held on Thursday night, and a candlelight vigil is scheduled for Friday night at 8 p.m. at the steps of the Wilson County Courthouse.
"I want everyone to show up for my baby, if you love me and have any heart at all or loved my child please show up," the boy's mother said.
A GoFundMe campaign titled "Justice for Cannon" has raised nearly $120,000 since being created on Wednesday.
"On Sunday, August 9th, this precious angel was playing outside with his siblings when he was murdered. He was merely doing what he would do any other day and that's playing with his sisters, riding his bike, doing what kids do and all of the innocence that comes with being a child," the description of the campaign, started by Gwen Hinnant, read.
"This family has faced unimaginable pain because of this senseless act of violence," the GoFundMe states. "We are asking for your donations to assist with anything that may be needed for expenses related to his services. We offer our sincerest appreciation in this extremely difficult time."
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Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.