Footage has emerged of a shopper approaching a Georgia lawmaker in a grocery store spat in which Representative Erica Thomas claimed that the man told her to 'go back where you came from'.
On Wednesday, police said that they wouldn't charge Eric Sparkes over the incident after an officer's bodycam also showed a witness claiming it was in fact Rep Erica Thomas who made the remarks, not him.
Cobb County police issued security video from inside the Publix, showing the moment the two began arguing in front of staff and shoppers, reports the Daily Mail.
The clip has no audio, however, it shows Sparkes coming back into line in order to approach the pregnant Thomas, pointing to the express lane, and starting a heated argument.
A second newly released video shows a police officer's bodycam footage, as he interviews Sparkes as well as other witnesses of the row.
At the start of the video, the store employee says:
'She said that to him. "You can go back to where you came from" to him. He just kept calling her ignorant.
Another employee, Derrick Tompkins, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that:
'I’m not going to say that wasn’t said, but I don’t remember hearing it. I’m going to leave it at that.
Thomas took to Facebook to share a tearful video last week claiming she'd been racially abused by Sparkes in the supermarket checkout line.
In the video, she describes how her nine-year-old daughter returned from the supermarket, where Sparkes had cursed her, saying she was a 'lazy son of a b***h', and telling her:
You need to go back where you came from.
The incident occurred a day after president Trump told four congresswomen of colour: Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib to 'go back to where you came from', despite the fact all four are US citizens.
Speaking later to Channel 2 Action News, Thomas said:
'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.
In a press conference on Monday, she also doubled down on her comments, saying:
I want to make sure everyone knows I'm not backtracking on my statement or retracting anything I said.
Sgt. Wayne Delk, of Cobb County Police Department, commented:
After a thorough investigation, both parties have been advised there will be no charges made by the Cobb County Police Department.