NEW DETAILS: Police report disputes Georgia lawmaker's account of Publix incident

NEW DETAILS: Police report disputes Georgia lawmaker's account of Publix incident

Erica Thomas and Eric Sparkes 

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Cobb County police released an extended report about what happened between a Georgia lawmaker and a man at a Mableton grocery store last Friday.

State Rep. Erica Thomas maintains that Eric Sparkes told her to go back to where she came from while standing in the express checkout line of a Publix grocery store in Mableton.

[READ: State lawmaker, man she accused of verbally harassing her confront each other]

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In the police report obtained by Channel 2's Richard Elliot, a witness told police that it was Thomas who actually made the comment to Sparkes.

Either way, police decided not to charge anyone in the incident.


Channel 2 Action News were there over the weekend as Thomas argued with Sparkes in the parking lot of the grocery store, where they had a confrontation a day earlier.

“What did you say?” Thomas asked, confronting Sparkes.

“I called you a lazy (expletive). That’s the worst thing I said,” Sparkes said.

The incident sparked a firestorm of controversy, with Thomas saying Sparkes yelled at her because she had too many items in the express checkout lane.


Monday, Thomas repeated her claims that he told her to go back to where she came from.

“’Go back to where you came from.’ He said it right after he said, ‘I know you people. You’re ignorant,” Thomas said.

But in the new police report Elliot obtained Tuesday night, a store employee told investigators that Thomas is the one who told Sparkes to “go back.”

“She heard Ms. Thomas continuously tell Mr. Sparkes to ‘go back to where you came from,’” the report said. “Mr. Sparkes was continuously responding with,‘You’re ignorant.’”

After looking at the security camera video, investigators decided there was no crime and no one would face charges.

The controversy went viral after Thomas posted a tearful Facebook video, which prompted tweets of support from Democrats.

Republicans tweeted, too, calling Thomas a liar and demanding her resignation.

Sparkes had no comment Wednesday, saying the report spoke for itself.

Thomas’ attorney Gerald Griggs issued a statement, that said in part, “We really need the video to be released at this point, and police need to interview the customers who have been coming forward to us to get a clearer picture of what happened.”

Griggs said some Publix customers have come forward supporting Thomas’ account of what happened.

Channel 2 Action News has put in an open records request to get a look at that video ourselves. We're still waiting to get that copy.