Cobb County

Police say no charges in confrontation between lawmaker, man inside Publix store

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The Cobb County Police Department said there will be no charges against a state lawmaker and a man after a confrontation inside a Mableton Publix store.

In a news release Tuesday, the department said, “After a thorough investigation, both parties have been advised there will be no charges made.”

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

The controversy erupted late Friday night when state Rep. Erica Thomas took to Facebook, saying Eric Sparkes told her to go back to where she came from while in an express checkout lane at the grocery store.


Erica Thomas news conference | Eric Sparkes speaks with Channel 2

The issue started a heated debate on social media. A statement from the Georgia Democratic Party, said:

“We stand with you Erica Thomas. Trump’s racist rhetoric is emboldening hate across Georgia and our country.”

The incident spawned a trending social media hashtag, #IStandWithErica, which has been passed along by actors, Georgia politicians and a Democratic presidential candidate.

[READ: State representative says she was 'scared for her life' during Publix incident]

Republicans took to social media, as well, with some demanding Thomas step down if a police investigation proves she lied.


"I think this thing has been grossly over politicized. I mean, you can't turn around at all without someone on the left accusing a Republican of being a racist," said Cobb County GOP Chair Jason Shepherd.
Republicans pushed their own hashtag: #HateHoax.

Cobb County police said they have provided information to Thomas and Sparkes on how to contact the Cobb County Magistrate’s Office if they wanted to pursue any further criminal action.

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