Fact Check: Wilson Police Did NOT Say That Darrius Sessoms Did Drugs With Austin Hinnant Before Killing Cannon Hinnant

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Wilson Police Did NOT Say That Darrius Sessoms Did Drugs With Austin Hinnant Before Killing Cannon Hinnant Fake Release

Did the Wilson, North Carolina, Police say that the suspect in the shooting death of 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant did drugs with the victim's father before the killing? No, that's not true: This was a fabricated Facebook post doctored to make it look as though the Wilson Police posted it. The actual Wilson Police Department's Facebook page did not post it and the department has made explicit statements denying the information.

The claim appeared as a meme created from a screenshot of the doctored Facebook in a post (archived here) shared on Facebook on August 16, 2020 with the introductory text "Boy these white people." The meme, which was topped with "Wilson Police Department," opened:

Just to be clear we did NOT find any evidence to back the version of the events the family has been claiming. The parents of Cannon claimed their son had been shot at random for riding his bike in to the neighbor's yard. This is not an accurate. The version of events the suspect gave the police after his arrest was that Cannon's father had invited him over over earlier in the day to do drugs. They later got into an altercation after getting high. Darrius claims that he struck Cannon by accident via a stray bullet while aiming for the child's father, Austin Hinnant. Preliminary evidence has so far lined up with the suspects version of events.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Aug 18 14:50:08 2020 UTC)

Cannon Hinnant was shot to death last week. The Hinnant family's neighbor, Darius Sessoms, has been charged with first-degree murder.

The Wilson Police Department addressed the fake Facebook post on its website:

The Wilson Police Department has been made aware of numerous posts containing false information on social media, including some posts that look like they were releases from investigators. These are fraudulent posts. You can help us by reporting these fraudulent releases to Facebook so they can be removed.

Lead Stories previously debunked a claim that the media was ignoring the tragic death of 5-year-old Cannon:

Fact Check: Murder Of 5-Year-Old Cannon Hinnant Is NOT Being Ignored By Media

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion