On July 18, 2023, we commemorate the somber anniversary of the death of Deshon Johnson, a talented music artist and college student known professionally as Sean Cos Mason. It has been exactly 11 years since the tragic murder of Deshon Johnson on July 18, 2012. At the age of 22, Deshon was struck by a Coach USA bus driver named Wilson Romain on Broad Street and Bay Avenue in Bloomfield, NJ. Little did Deshon know that he would become a statistic on that fateful day while on his way to work. Sadly, his mother had no idea that she would be left with an empty room and a home that her son had once shared.
According to a witness at the scene, Deshon was waiting at the bus stop with another gentleman when the bus driver, Wilson Romaine, operating an NJ Transit bus 709, deliberately accelerated the bus, seemingly with the intent to hit him. Deshon was knocked into the street by the bus wheel, run over twice, and then dragged 50 to 100 feet. Despite a passenger urging the bus driver to stop and help Deshon, he callously refused, ultimately leading to the untimely death of the well-known music artist.
Deshon’s case was mishandled by Essex County Prosecutor Mike Luggar and transit attorney Michael Tuzzio. They unjustly blamed Deshon Johnson for his death, while Wilson Romain received a paycheck and a pension retirement package for committing vehicular homicide. The judge overseeing the case sealed Deshon’s records, and the bus agency’s attorney redacted the bus operator’s hearing, vision, and health records. Since 2012, Deshon’s mother has reached out to numerous New Jersey politicians, urging them to pass a bill that holds bus drivers accountable for taking innocent lives like Deshon’s and to establish a permanent memorial at the site where her son took his last breath on that town and county road. Unfortunately, her pleas have been ignored by the politicians.
“More than eleven years after Deshon’s death, his mother is more convinced than ever that investigators, including members of the Essex County Prosecutor Detective department, were wrong. She believes they rushed to close his case as an accident to absolve the bus operator of any accountability, and Deshon’s mother wants to know why,” said Naomi Johnson, Deshon’s mother, in an interview with the news. A petition has been launched online, urging the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to reexamine the case. Deshon’s mother hopes that a video will surface, revealing the Latino man who was standing by Deshon on the day of the incident, as he is the main witness. Naomi urges the prosecutor to conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation of their previous inquiry. I kindly request you to share this video and help raise awareness about this senseless death. Let us honor Deshon’s legacy by playing his music, released under his musical name Sean Cos Mason, on all major music streaming platforms and social media music stores, keeping his memory alive for years to come.