Police: Witness says GA State Rep was one who said “Go back where you came from!” – not man she accused
“Cobb authorities … said Tuesday they don’t intend to file criminal charges in the case”
On Sunday, I wrote about Democrat state Rep. Erica Thomas walking back her statement that Cuban anti-Trump Democrat Eric Sparkes told her to “go back where she came from.” Since then, she has walked back her walk back and is insisting that he did say that.
“He said go back, you know, those types of words. 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 is what I remember,” said Ms. Thomas in video posted Saturday.
On Monday, however, the black Democratic legislator held a press conference with her attorney, Gerald Griggs, at which she denied walking back her claim.
“I want to make sure that everyone knows that in any way am I backtracking on my statement or am I retracting on anything that I said,” Ms. Thomas said at the press event.
In her interview with the press over the weekend, Thomas was insistent that she had been “verbally assaulted”/a victim of “simple assault,” that some sort of crime was committed against her when Sparkes challenged her decision to enter the 10 Items or Less lane with more than 10 items. Sparkes admitted that he called Thomas “lazy” and a “bitch,” but he adamantly denies telling her to “go back to her own country.”
Cobb Country police have declined to press charges against either party. To be honest, I have no idea what criminal charges can be brought over calling someone a bitch in a supermarket. He didn’t touch her, and she is not claiming that he did. Anyway, “no charges” is indicated in the official release from Cobb County police:
Here’s the official release from Cobb County Police regarding the incident involving State Rep. Erica Thomas and Eric Sparkes at the grocery store. pic.twitter.com/VKvKE1ZTN6
— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) July 23, 2019
A Publix employee told a Cobb County officer 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.
. . . . Cobb authorities, meanwhile, said Tuesday they don’t intend to file criminal charges in the case after what the police department said was a “thorough” investigation into the confrontation.
. . . . Both Thomas and Sparkes have called on Publix to release a video of the incident, which has not yet been made public. But the officer who reviewed the tape, which did not include audio, described it in the report.
He wrote that Sparkes “did not appear to be irate” during the confrontation and that he quickly retreated from Thomas as she moved his way “pointing her finger at him.”
When she moved toward Sparkes a second time, a Publix staffer waved for him to leave and Thomas turned to her daughter and paid for her items, he wrote. The dispute lasted about 45 seconds.
The Publix employee, a customer service manager, told police that after Sparkes accosted Thomas he began to leave but “Ms. Thomas kept ‘running her mouth’ as she approached him.” Sparkes, she said, responded by repeatedly calling Thomas “ignorant.”
Thomas’ attorney says that she “wants the world to know that she’s standing up for the rights of women who have been victimized,” according to the AJC.
For his part, Sparkes is adamant that he is not a racist and that the media “isn’t fact-checking items or they are just taking the word of a politician when they do a live Facebook or a Twitter post.”
The AJC continues:
In a statement on Tuesday, Sparkes said he wasn’t surprised that Cobb authorities decided not to file charges. And he blasted media coverage of the incident.
“Everyone that knows me knows that I am anti-hate, anti-bigot and anti-racism,” he said, adding: “Sadly, too much of media isn’t fact-checking items or they are just taking the word of a politician when they do a live Facebook or a Twitter post.”
Sparkes has said that he is consulting attorneys about a possible defamation lawsuit. Georgia Republicans are also weighing in saying that if it turns out that Thomas defamed Sparkes, she should resign.
A Cobb County man might sue a Georgia lawmaker after she claimed he told her, “Go back to where you came from,” during a confrontation at a grocery store.
In a statement Monday, Eric Sparkes told CBS46 he’s “in the process of exploring with attorneys a defamation lawsuit against her.”
. . . . After Thomas’s news conference, Sparkes sent CBS46 the following statement:
Ms. Thomas has taken an innocuous situation that began on my part to be about being inconsiderate and turned into a national case about race over night. Ms. Thomas accuses me of telling her to go back to wherever. Those words were never spoken. She backtracked slightly and now is changing her story. I am in the process of exploring with attorneys a defamation lawsuit against her.
The Cobb County Republican Party also speaking out, calling on Rep. Thomas to resign if “it turns out to be true she defamed a private citizen and Democratic constituent for political purposes.”
Given her recent statement that she “was scared for [her] life,” it seems that Thomas is intent on pursuing something against Sparkes—whether that be legal action or vilification in the court of public opinion is unclear at this point.DONATE
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