A Michigan man has been charged with felony assault after attacking a Macy's manager on June 15.
The attack was caught on video and went viral [warning: graphic]:
Damire Palmer, 18, claimed the manager of a Flint Macy's store had called him the N-word during a phone conversation with a coworker — but authorities denied that the employee used the term.
"This was an unprovoked attack on a Macy's employee," said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton in a statement. "This behavior as seen on the video is unacceptable, it is criminal, and it cannot be allowed."
Leyton said evidence did not show that the store manager had used the offensive language.
Officials said that surveillance footage shows Palmer walking around the store before approaching the manager from behind and hitting him in the head, knocking him to the floor. Palmer repeatedly called the white manager the N-word and punched him in the face and head.
"The internal video for Macy's shows the suspect approaching from behind the victim," Leyton said. "The store manager appears unaware that he's even there."
Leyton said the two did talk briefly minutes before the attack when Palmer asked about the fit of a jacket. The manager then returned to his phone call, where Palmer said the manger had said "no one, just some n*****."
"This was a cell phone to cell phone call, there is no recording of it. And the out of state witness who we interviewed said that he did not hear any such alleged provocation," Leyton said.
Leyton said the attack would not have been justified regardless.
"Even if there were verbal provocation, which we have no evidence of, violent retaliation is not permitted by the law," he said.