A Publix employee who witnessed the incident between Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas (D) and Eric Sparkes told police it was Thomas — not Sparkes — who invoked the phrase “go back where you came from.”
The account completely undermines the claims of Thomas, who in a viral video last week, claimed that Sparkes told her to “go back” to where she came from during a heated incident in which Sparkes confronted Thomas for bringing too many items into the express checkout lane.
The witness told Cobb County police she heard Thomas “continuously tell Eric Sparkes to ‘Go back where you came from!'” but did not hear Sparkes utter those same words to Thomas, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In fact, the police report indicates that Thomas — not Sparkes — was the aggressor, despite Thomas claiming Sparkes made her in fear for her life.
Thomas told police that Sparkes “ran-up on me with clenched hands in such a manner that he made me fearful for the safety of myself and my daughter.” However, the officer who observed surveillance footage wrote in his report that “Mr. Sparkes did not appear to be irate, nor did I see him with clenched hands.
“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 customer service manager] comes into the frame and waves for Mr. Sparkes to leave, which he did,” the officer wrote, the Daily Caller reported. “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.”
The entire confrontation lasted about 45 seconds, the officer said.
Meanwhile, Cobb County police officials announced Tuesday they would not file criminal charges following a thorough investigation. The police report showed officers were investigating for “simple assault/simple battery.”
Thomas’ attorney, Gerald Griggs, decried the decision, telling the AJC the incident requires additional investigation.