A woman who witnessed the incident between Georgia Democrat State Rep. Erica Thomas and Eric Sparkes says that Sparkes did not say what Thomas claims and that Thomas was the one who said it.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:
A Publix employee told a Cobb County deputy that she witnessed part of the conversation and heard Thomas “continuously tell Eric Sparkes to ‘Go back where you came from!’” but did not hear Sparkes utter those words to Thomas.
The employee reportedly told police that Sparkes began to leave, but Thomas kept “running her mouth.”
“Mr. Sparks (sic) did not appear to be irate, nor did I see him with clenched hands in the video,” the report says. “He initially did enter Ms. Thomas’ personal space but backed as Ms. Thomas moved forward and around the counter toward Mr. Sparkes pointing her finger at him. Ms. Thomas advanced toward Mr. Sparkes a second time at which point, (a Publix employee) comes into the frame and waves for Mr. Sparkes to leave, which he did. Simultaneously, Ms. Thomas returned to the register, stated something to (her daughter) and then paid for her items. I observed Ms. Thomas’ daughter smiling shortly after. This confrontation lasted approximately 45 seconds.”
Thomas made the allegations against Sparkes on Friday in a video she posted on Facebook and in a tweet.
Thomas tweeted: “Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to[o] many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!”
Thomas briefly appeared to walk back her statement on Saturday, saying, “I don’t want to say he said ‘go back to your country’ or ‘go back to where you came from,’ but he was making those types of references.”
Sparkes, a Cuban Democrat, said that Thomas was making her allegations for “political purposes.”
“This woman is playing the victim for political purposes because she is a state legislator,” Sparkes said. “I’m a Democrat and will vote Democrat for the rest of my life, so call me whatever you want to believe. For her political purposes, make it black, white, brown, whatever. It is untrue.”
Police announced on Monday that they were not filing any charges in the case after conducting a thorough investigation.