On Sunday, 24-year-old Joden Rocco was charged in the stabbing death of 24-year-old Dulane Cameron Jr. outside of a bar in Pittsburgh. But as details from the incident emerge, a story that initially seemed like just an unusually tragic outcome to a bar fight has been discovered to have serious racial implications.
Rocco (who is white) allegedly attacked Cameron (who was black) and his friend after Rocco was denied entry at the Tequila Cowboy. For context, this is one of many popular bars and restaurants that sit on the North Shore, the stretch of the city where both Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers) and PNC Park (home of the Pittsburgh Pirates) exist. (It’s also where former Steelers’ offensive coordinator Todd Haley got hurt in a bar fight on New Year’s Eve.)
Anyway, after leaving the bar, Rocco seemed to be itching for a fight and encountered Cameron and his friend.
According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Rocco was observed in a surveillance video acquired from Tequila Cowboy attempting to enter the restaurant’s Little Red Corvette bar. After being denied entrance, he headed east on North Shore Drive toward PNC Park, where he encountered Mr. Cameron, who was walking with friend, Trei Hendon.
Mr. Rocco was seen bouncing on the balls of his feet and “appearing to be very aggressive,” police said, when he “all of a sudden” began attacking the men, trying to punch them. Mr. Cameron and Mr. Hendon were viewed backing away as a crowd began to gather. Moments later, Rocco, who was shirtless, is observed removing an object from his pants and walking toward the men just out of view.
But while Rocco and Cameron apparently didn’t know each other, Rocco choosing to fight him doesn’t seem to be all that random.
“Instagram video appears to show the suspect in the North Shore homicide making racist comments,” from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The man accused in the fatal stabbing of another man outside a North Shore bar early Sunday appears to be in an undated, racist Instagram video.
The 16-second video shows Joden Rocco, 24, stating that he wanted to visit bars and see how many times he could use the n-word slur before the bartender would throw him out.
Rocco fled the scene and was eventually apprehended by the police, but only after finding a cop and asking for a ride home.
He was taken into custody after flagging down an officer to give him a ride home to the North Hills and then being identified by a witness.
How drunk off of whiteness must a person be to stab a black man to death and then expect the police to be his personal Uber? I don’t know.
I do know that I live perhaps a half mile from the area where Dulane Cameron Jr. was killed. Despite the proximity, I don’t venture down there on the weekends much, specifically because of drunk, entitled and angry white men like Joden Rocco.