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The murder of a child too inconvenient for the mainstream media

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Cannon Hinnant was the North Carolina 5-year-old who was fatally shot while riding his bike less than a week ago. After sustained pressure from people on Twitter and other social media platforms the mainstream media in the USA finally took notice and started talking about it.

However apart from a few articles in UK titles it has not appeared on the national news leaving us with a very simple question. Why?

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“He was very full of life,” Gwen Hinnant, the boy’s grandmother told USA TODAY on Friday. A grandmother like her needed to be prepared for one of his regular visits — and be ready to play.

It wasn’t just bikes that he loved riding: Lawn mowers, 4-wheelers . . . Anything with wheels.

But his humor is what she remembers most. She laughed, retelling her favorite story.

Cannon, age 4 at the time, was visiting with his two older sisters when she knelt down on the floor to ask the boy a question: Will you take care of me when I’m old?

“You’re already old, grandma,” he replied.

It wasn’t said in a mean spirit. “Cannon loved everybody,” Hinnant said.

He also loved water gun battles — and money, she said with a chuckle. He was often asking his dad, Austin Hinnant, for $2.

Most of the time Cannon lived with mother, Bonny Waddell, and step-father, Lee Parker. But last weekend, he was visiting his dad, who is Gwen Hinnant’s step son.

Police have yet to reveal the full details of Cannon’s death, other than a man has been charged with his murder.

A neighbour, who said she witnessed the shooting from her window, said Sessoms ran up to Cannon and put the gun to his head before running back into his own home.

“My first reaction was he’s playing with the kids,” Doris Lybrand told a local news station. “For a second, I thought, ‘That couldn’t happen.’ People don’t run across the street and kill kids.”

 

His grieving Father, Austin Hinnant, gave his account to local media.

Cannon was riding his bike when the shooting happened Sunday, hours after going to church with the family, WRAL-TV reported.

Austin Hinnant was inside when he heard the gunshot. He went outside and ran to his dying son. There, he also saw a neighbor, Darius Sessoms, pacing with a gun.

“I have no idea why he would kill my son in front of his two sisters.”

Hinnant said he was filled with rage but couldn’t leave his son’s side. Some reports indicate that

“I just scooped him up in my arms and held him — and held him, and I screamed: ‘Somebody help me. Please help me save my son. God, save my son, please.’ ”

Cannon’s story has now touched a nation, with thousands of people donating to a GoFundMe set up by Gwen Hinnant. It’s raised nearly half-a-million dollars as of Friday night.

That money will help expenses following his death — things like therapy for his sisters. And she hopes there will be enough money to fund a project to help memorialize Cannon’s story.

Maybe a bike park for kids, Hinnant said. That’s something “Cannon would have loved and other children will enjoy.”

As indicated a sustained pressure campaign has now finally seen this get mainstream coverage in the USA but our research on this indicates that there has been scant mention of it in UK media circles except from online news.

As of this morning we undertook a search on the BBC website and the below is what came up:

The murder of any child is a crime against humanity. Many on social media have been asking whether or not the BBC and others would have ignored this story if a white male had executed a black child in cold blood as they played on their bicycle?

The mainstream media in this country is provoking tension and anger and unless this stops soon then things are only going to get worse for everyone as trust in our institutions and our fellow citizens evaporates.

On the Gofundme page for Cannon Hinnant this has been the latest update and if you want to contribute you can do so by clicking here now: 

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