The Cobb County Police issued a statement earlier today in the case involving allegations made by a Ga. Democratic state legislator of “racism” and “verbal battery” against a Cuban Democrat Publix customer.
The AJC reports:
The Cobb County Police Department said Tuesday that no charges will be filed in a confrontation at a grocery store between a black state legislator and a man she accused of demanding that she “go back” to where she came from.
The department said in a statement that after an investigation state Rep. Erica Thomas and Eric Sparkes were both told to contact the county’s magistrate system if they want to pursue lesser charges.
[Thomas] also said she had the witnesses to prove it, though one who spoke to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said he didn’t hear Sparkes use that phrase [“go back to where you came from”].
Cobb Police won’t file any charges involving the run-in between Georgia Rep. @itsericathomas and a man upset that she had too many items in the express lane at Publix. #gapol pic.twitter.com/dxQuhKtYbw
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) July 23, 2019
Thomas’s attorneys say in spite of the announcement that this case is not over:
Thomas’ attorney, Gerald Griggs, said Tuesday he hopes the department, which was investigating potential simple battery charges, conducted a “robust investigation” into Sparkes’ background. He said he plans to ask the magistrate court to investigate.
“Rep. Thomas wants the world to know that she’s standing up for the rights of women who have been victimized,” said Griggs, who said he hasn’t seen a Publix videotape of the confrontation yet.
That’s interesting, because during a press conference Griggs held Monday, he insinuated that he had seen the tapes and said they corroborate Thomas’s story.
I should note for the record that it seems Thomas’s attorneys and supporters are shifting gears from this being about racism to instead being about a “woman who was verbally attacked.” While it’s still not a flattering allegation and deserves a full investigation, it’s quite the climb-down from saying Sparkes used racist “Trump language” on her during a dispute about her using an express checkout lane:
“I don’t care”? SMH. With respect, saying Sparkes was being a jerk is quite a climb-down from Thomas and her attorneys accusing him of racism. Because Ms. Thomas decided to escalate this in the manner that she did, and because it’s now a national issue, we deserve some answers. https://t.co/70YfpBG6Uw
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) July 23, 2019
Griggs also retweeted this tweet from Carter Media Group founder Dontaye Carter alleging that Sparkes has an extensive criminal background:
I hope @cobbpolice1 thoroughly investigated this case. #IStandWithErica Not a #HateHoax @jali_cat@monicaonairtalk@cernovich@iheartmindy@wsbtv @cbs46 @FOX5Atlanta @11AliveNews @USATODAY pic.twitter.com/YHgLiahouf
— Dontaye Carter (@DontayeCarter) July 23, 2019
While it’s not clear if Carter is representing the PR interests of Griggs and Thomas, he made it clear in several tweet responses to his postings about Sparkes that “this case is about protecting women”, not race. So it sounds like a narrative shift is underway.
Sparkes issued a statement on Monday saying he is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against Thomas. In spite of the narrative shifting, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to forget that she, her attorneys, and her supporters very much made this about race in the beginning, and turned it into a national story.