Racially Motivated Assault Case in Michigan: What You’ll Want to Know

Law gavel and books depicting racially motivated assault

As the summer of 2020 moves forward, many of us are going about our business and hoping the world will return to normal sometime soon.

Michigan’s COVID-19 cases seemed as though they were on the rise earlier in the summer, although testing data had to be revised based on lab errors.

It’s hard to get straight data.

The fight over whether Governor Whitmer has the right to keep the state under a state of emergency declaration drags on. Ever-present political debates are going on in the background leading up to November’s presidential election.

Some cities in our nation continue to be inundated by violence throughout the summer.

Racially Motivated Tensions in Flint

One of the tensions we feel most keenly as Americans is the significant tension we have about race.

We have seen mass protests over the death of George Floyd. In some places, these protests have turned into violent racially motivated riots.

However, we’ve also seen a broad cross-section of our population showing solidarity through peaceful protests, whatever their ethnicity.

You may have even heard about a few one-on-one episodes of conflict between a white person and a black person. One of those happened here in Michigan – near Flint – and it went viral.

Brothers Damire and Damarquay Palmer became persons of interest when the video of 18-year-old Damire beating a white Macy’s store employee came to President Trump’s attention, who retweeted it.

Damire claimed on Twitter that the Macy’s employee had used a racial slur, which led to his violent response.

What Happens In Court After The Cameras Are Off

It’s interesting to learn what happens in a case like this after the hubbub wears off. Those involved are left to deal with the justice system.

In a summer where every instance of police violence – legal or otherwise – against black men is highly publicized, does the sentiment of prosecutors side with the man who allegedly got called a racial slur, or with the man whose beating was caught on tape?

It’s an honest question, when a police officer in Atlanta gets charged with murder for shooting a man who was using a taser against him, or when looters destroy Chicago’s Magnificent Mile because a policeman shot back at a man who was shooting at him.

The answer is, in some ways, both. It’s always good to highlight when our criminal justice system is working.

Damire Palmer was apprehended by police and pleaded guilty to a single count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.

The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

He testified in court that his brother told him the employee had used the racial slur, but that his brother had lied.

Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, Forgiveness

However, Damire Palmer may not see the inside of a prison cell, much less spend ten years there.

Assistant Prosecutor Patrick McCombs told the court at Palmer’s trial that he would be sentenced under Michigan’s Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, allowing young offenders a second chance at life.

If Palmer completes the required programming, he will have the opportunity to have his charge lowered to aggravated assault. In addition, he will be able to serve his time on probation rather than in prison.

Takeaway

Racially motivated assault is a serious criminal offense in Michigan.  

Judge Jennifer Manley made sure Palmer understood that his victim wanted him to get that second chance. In addition, that the court would not have been so lenient if not for that man.

Let’s hope and pray that Mr. Palmer’s life is changed for the better because of this unfortunate circumstance.

If you are or a loved one is facing charges, call my office today.