Black Michigan teen charged with assault for attacking white Macy's staffer, police deny claim he used N-word
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said, 'This was an unprovoked attack on a Macy’s employee. This behavior as seen on the video is unacceptable, it is criminal, and it cannot be allowed'
The authorities in Michigan charged an 18-year-old black man for the 'unprovoked' attack on a white Macy's manager, officials revealed. The man, Damire Palmer, who hails from Mount Morris Township, had attacked the manager on Monday, June 15 inside the Flint department store. He is facing one count of felony assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. Click to see the video here.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said, "This was an unprovoked attack on a Macy’s employee. This behavior as seen on the video is unacceptable, it is criminal, and it cannot be allowed," reports NY Post. "We don’t believe any racial slur was made by the store manager, and even if there had been, it does not condone nor justify the assault by Mr Palmer," Leyton added. Palmer attacked the 50-year-old manager who had been working in the men's clothing section. In surveillance footage obtained from Macy's, Palmer walks around the store, slowly approaches the manager, sucker-punches him from behind, and knocks him to the floor, the police revealed. Contrary to earlier claims, the police found no evidence that there was any provocation after Palmer alleged that the staffer had used the 'N-word'.
Cell phone footage of the incident that went viral across social media platforms showed the Macy's employee in a mask while speaking on a cell phone. Palmer approaches from behind and then punches him, ABC 12 News reports. The manager then asks Palmer, "What are you doing that for?" as he tries to crawl away. As the staffer cowers on the ground and apologizes, Palmer rains on him with two more punches. Prosecutors have revealed that there was not enough evidence to support a hate crime charge. After the attack, Palmer leaves the store along with his brother. If convicted, Palmer will be facing up to ten years in prison.
It has also been reported that the authorities are planning not to charge Palmer's brother, who reportedly filmed the attack and don't believe that he committed a crime. According to Leyton, social media accounts and other reports online stating that the phone conversation between the store manager and another Macy’s employee prior to the incident was recorded is a "false narrative", reports Mid-Michigan NOW. The Senior Director of Media Relations for Macy's, Andrea Schwartz, spoke to mlive.com and said, "We are deeply saddened about the incident that took place on Monday at Macy’s Genesee Valley as the safety of Macy’s customers and colleagues is our top priority."
"We take these situations very seriously and are working closely with local authorities on this investigation, deferring all comments about the case to them per policy," she shared. Leyton further revealed that the only person to mention the manager shared that the only person who claimed that the manager had said something inappropriate to Palmer, was his brother who shared the video on social media. The prosecutor shared that this is not evidence. "Even if there were verbal provocation, which we have no evidence of, violent retaliation is not permitted by the law," he shared.