Many social media users said they would have done whatever was necessary to defend their family from the knife-wielding white woman caught on video threatening a Black family, while others criticized how the couple managed the situation.
Oregon law enforcement officials arrested 39-year-old Amber Rocco on Friday after a video surfaced that showed her threatening 20-year-old Emora Roberson and her family—including her 15-month-old daughter—in a mall parking lot on Christmas Eve, the Oregonian reported.
Rocco faces two felony counts of first-degree intimidation, two felony accounts of unlawful use of a weapon, two misdemeanor counts of menacing, and two misdemeanor counts of harassment.
Rocco went into a tirade, yelling racial slurs at Roberson and her boyfriend, when the couple pulled up, apparently too close, to Rocco’s pickup truck in a strip mall. She slapped and spit on Keysuan Goodyear, Roberson’s boyfriend. When he confronted Rocco, she pulled out a knife on him.
“We eventually drove off. We still had Christmas shopping to do. My daughter woke up and was crying her head off,” Roberson recalled.
A Twitter user who goes by the name @pianomover found fault with how Roberson and Goodyear responded to Rocco.
“I’m 6’8” 270lbs if I had a 15 mos old I was responsible for and someone pulled a knife on me my first thought wouldn’t be to take out my phone and video the confrontation,” @pianomover tweeted. “My first thought would be to get my child away and safe. Meth is a terrible drug.”
But @partysmashers98 defended the couple, underscoring “people like that will call the authorities and lie. It’s in the best interest of the POC (people of color) to film these incidents.”
Twitter user @NYKnick1963 raised a question about whether this was a “stand your ground” situation.
Some states, most notably Florida, have a Stand Your Ground law that protects people who use deadly force from criminal prosecution if they feared for their life during an encounter.
Oregon is not one of the roughly two dozen states that have that law on its books, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. The law has been criticized for giving white people a license to kill African Americans. However, Black people are far less likely to succeed when using that defense.
Most Twitter users commented on what they would have done to Rocco: