Story Of Black GA Rep. Being Yelled At In A Grocery Store Gets Murkier

A Publix supermarket store in central Florida USA. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Erica Thomas, a black Democratic state representative from Georgia, posted a tearful video on Facebook this weekend, telling her followers between sobs that she’d been yelled at to “go back where you came from” after angering a man by bringing too many items into the express lane at a Publix grocery store.

Now, things are getting murkier.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Eric Sparkes, the man who confronted her, denies her account of the exchange and interrupted Thomas’ televised press conference to say so.

He acknowledged calling her a “selfish little bitch” but denied making the other comments. “Her words stating on Twitter, and her video, stating I told her she needs to go back where she came from are untrue,” he said. “I am Cuban.”

Thomas has reportedly flip-flopped a bit on exactly what went down since then. She told a local news channel that “I don’t want to say he said, ‘Go back to your country,’ or ‘Go back to where you came from,'” backtracking to say that she only knows he made those “types” of comments.

She later denied that she had changed her tune, saying that she was still flustered from the confrontation when she talked to reporters, and called for Publix to release the security tape of the event.

Sparkes, meanwhile, is holding fast to his version of events, saying that he’s exploring a defamation lawsuit against Thomas.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: