As if Georgia state Rep. Erica Thomas’ account of an altercation in a Publix grocery store wasn’t convoluted enough, surveillance video has now emerged that appears to contradict her ever-changing story.
Thomas, who is black, initially accused a “white man” named Eric Sparkes of telling her “you need to go back where you came from,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But in a later interview, Thomas walked back her comments.
“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,” she said.
Sparkes, who said he is Cuban, not white, and a Democrat, admitted to calling Thomas a “selfish little b—-” but denied telling Thomas to “go back” anywhere.
According to witnesses, it was Thomas who was making those kinds of remarks.
A customer service manager at Publix told police she heard Thomas tell Sparkes to “go back where you came from,” according to WXIA-TV in Atlanta.
Another witness, Publix employee Derrick Tompkins, said he didn’t remember hearing Sparkes saying “go back,” The Journal-Constitution reported.
Sparkes said he was calling out Thomas for having too many items in an express lane, which she acknowledged, saying she has difficulty standing for long because she is pregnant.
The newly released video shows Sparkes talking with Thomas and pointing toward the checkout lane.
Sparkes then walks away.
Seconds later, Thomas rushes toward Sparkes and points at him, appearing to speak to him before walking back to the checkout lane.
Watch the silent video below:
Here it is — Erica Thomas is in pink in the Planned Parenthood t-shirt. She follows Sparkes after he comes up to point out that she’s in the express line and she follows him and appears to be the one yelling at him.
Hard to see how her initial account could possibly be right. pic.twitter.com/RAYRVVlEXZ
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) July 24, 2019
The incident has become national news, with Sparkes commenting on the broader implications of the story.
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