No charges in grocery store dispute between black Georgia lawmaker and white man

/ CBS/AP

Police said they will not file any charges in the dispute between a black Georgia lawmaker and a white man she accused of verbally assaulting her for having too many items in a grocery checkout line. In a widely shared Facebook video, a tearful state Rep. Erica Thomas accused a man later identified as Eric Sparkes of racism.

Thomas, who is nine months pregnant, said he told her, "You need to go back where you came from." The dispute happened Friday at a Publix grocery store in Mableton, Georgia.

Cobb County Police spokesman Sergeant Wayne Delk said Tuesday that authorities investigated and won't charge anyone.

Trending News

Her video went viral on Twitter, along with the hashtag #IStandWithErica. Thomas later wrote that she was "verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man."

In this May 7, 2019 file photo Rep. Erica Thomas, D-Austell, speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. Bob Andres / AP

She did not mention President Trump, who recently told four congresswomen of color to "go back" to where they came from, but Thomas said there was "so much hate in this world and it's being incited by our president every single day."

Sparkes admitted cursing at the Democratic lawmaker from Austell, but said he didn't tell her to "go back where you came from."

Grace Segers contributed to this report.

First published on July 23, 2019 / 2:41 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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