FLINT TOWNSHIP, MI – An 18-year-old Mount Morris Township man has been charged in the assault of a manager at the Macy’s department store in the Genesee Valley Center in Flint Township.
Damire Canell Palmer, 18-years-old, is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a 10-year felony, in the attack of a 50-year-old manager who was working in the men’s clothing section around 5:30PM on Monday, June 15th, 2020.
In surveillance video obtained from Macy’s by Flint Township Police, Damire Palmer is seen walking around the store; he then approaches and punches the manager in the head from behind knocking him to the floor. The video shows Palmer continuing to strike the manager while he is on the floor. Palmer then exits the store with another man.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton indicated that despite public comments on social media, the police investigation did not uncover any evidence of provocation by the store manager.
“This was an unprovoked attack on a Macy’s employee,” said Prosecutor Leyton. “This behavior as seen on the video is unacceptable, it is criminal, and it cannot be allowed,” said Prosecutor Leyton.
“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,” Prosecutor Leyton said.
The Prosecutor noted that certain 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; the call was on private cell phones and not recorded. He also said there is no audio on the Macy’s store surveillance video contrary to what some had indicated.
Leyton also said he and his senior staff reviewed the case for possibly charging Palmer with a hate crime, called ethnic intimidation by statute, but he said there is insufficient probable cause evidence that would support it. “I know a lot of people are calling this a hate crime but, under the laws of Michigan, the evidence simply does not support that charge,” he said.
At this time, police are still searching for Damire Palmer. Once arrested, he will be arraigned on the felony charge in 67th District Court.
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