Flint Township Macy's assault suspect arrested

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A suspect in the assault of a Flint Township Macy's department store manager has been arrested, according to police records.

Damire Canell Palmer

The suspect, Damire Canell Palmer, an 18-year-old Mount Morris man, was in custody Thursday night. A Michigan State Police background check says Palmer was arrested on suspicion of felony assault and misdemeanor retail fraud.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said on June 26 that Palmer was charged but not in custody with intent to do great bodily harm in an attack at about 5:30 p.m. June 15 on a Macy's manager who was working in the men's clothing section.

Surveillance video from Macy's allegedly shows Palmer walking around the store before he approaches and punches the 50-year-old manager in the head from behind. The blow knocks the man to the floor, authorities said.

The video also allegedly shows Palmer continuing to strike the manager before Palmer exits the store. Public comments on social media suggested the store manager made a racial slur before the attack. The manager is white; the suspect is Black.

A screenshot of a video posted online showing a man assaulting another customer in the Macy's store at a Flint Township shopping mall.

Leyton said investigators failed to uncover evidence of provocation or racial comments.

“This was an unprovoked attack on a Macy’s employee,” Leyton said June 26 when announcing the charge. “This behavior, as seen on the video, is unacceptable, it is criminal and it cannot be allowed.

“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,” he said.

Video of the attack went viral and drew remarks from President Trump suggesting the employee was attacked because of his race and asking "Where are the protesters?" as demonstrators nationwide continued holding protests over the death of George Floyd after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest May 25.

Records from the 67th District Court in Genesee County, where Palmer's case will be heard, say the warrant for his arrest is canceled as of Friday, and that the case has been sent to the courtroom.

Information on when he'll be arraigned was not immediately available.