The Cobb County, Georgia Police Department announced on Tuesday that it will not be filing any charges in the alleged incident wherein a Democratic Georgia lawmaker claimed a man told her to “go back to where” she “came from.”
State Rep. Erica Thomas made the claim on Friday in a tweet and a Facebook video, both of which went viral. Thomas’ claim was heavily disputed on Saturday after the man, Eric Sparkes, confronted her about the incident during a media interview she gave at the grocery store where the encounter took place.
“This white man comes up to me and says, ‘You lazy son of b**ch. You need to go back where you came from,'” Thomas alleged. “Sir, you don’t even know me. I’m not lazy. I’m nine months pregnant.”
“I called you a lazy (expletive),” Sparkes told Thomas during the media appearance. “That’s the worst thing I said.”
Sparkes says that he is a Cuban Democrat and that Thomas was exaggerating her claims 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.”
After Thomas called for the police to charge Sparkes, the Cobb County Police Department released the following statement:
On Friday, July 19, 2019 Cobb County Police began investigating an incident at a Publix store involving a dispute between two individuals, Georgia State Representative Erica Thomas and Eric Sparkes. After a thorough investigation both parties have been advised there will be no charges made by the Cobb County Police Department. Both were provided information on how to contact the Cobb County Magistrate’s Office if either wished to pursue any further criminal actions.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Monday that a witness with whom the newspaper spoke regarding the “go back” comment said that “he didn’t hear Sparkes use that phrase.”