In one of the most contentious cases of customer worker relations in a while, a jury yesterday acquitted Rayon McIntosh of assault and weapons charges.
It all started when 2 female customers took to an extreme disliking of Mr McIntosh making an effort to see if the $50 note that they had passed to him to pay their meal with (as is customary policy for all McDonald’s employees) was not a forged bill. Incensed, the women reiterated that they ‘were going to fuck the defendant up,’ before jumping the counter and proceeding to attack him.
Mr McIntosh for his part, picked up a metal rod used for cleaning grills to strike back as the two women who were by now behind the counter started assaulting him. What became contentious in the video that a customer captured was the intensity of Mr McIntosh’s reaction to the assault. Which in itself presented a moral dilemma, had Mr McIntosh gone overboard in his self defense when he relentlessly started clubbing the women, causing one of them permanent brain injury?
Not helping Mr McIntosh was the fact that he had a prior record of manslaughter which saw him recently released after serving 10 years behind bars for the death of an individual caused at his hands when he lost his temper.
What made the case difficult was the fact that Mr McIntosh already had a criminal record and whether one likes to admit it or not he is a man of color. Men of color in NYC, especially those who are in the position of receiving lowly wages (as was the case here) are implicitly frowned by a society that dismisses such individuals as replaceable cogs of business and to be suspected. What also complicated the case is the fact that Mr McIntosh assaulted women which in a chivalrous induced culture immediately counted against him. But what probably assisted him in the end, at the risk of offending different parties was that the individuals who first attacked him were 2 black women, black women who were by their admittedly obnoxious behavior filling a negative stereotype that exists of colored uneducated women. Had these two women been white one can wonder instead of Mr McIntosh getting ready to be released from Rikers Island prison this Friday night he instead would be settling in for another 15 years.
Ultimately what saved Mr McIntosh was that he was at work not looking for this situation and the fact that we can all relate to the many instances of living in a city like NYC where sometimes we are confronted with unwieldy situations that force our hand. Of course as someone once said to this author, one day they (filling in the missing person’s name) are going to ‘fxck with the wrong person.’ That wrong person one recent October day was Rayan McIntosh.