• State representative: Man told me to 'go back where you came from' at grocery store

    By: WSBTV.com

    Updated:

    COBB COUNTY, Ga. - An African-American Georgia lawmaker says she was verbally harassed while at a grocery store in Cobb County.

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    State Rep. Erica Thomas, who represents District 39, recorded an emotional Facebook Live detailing what she says happened at a Publix in Mableton. 

    Thomas said she was waiting in the express lane with her daughter when a man became angry over the number of items she had. 

    "This white man comes up to me and says 'you lazy son of [expletive]. You need to go back where you came from,'" the lawmaker said in her Facebook video. "Sir, you don't even know me. I'm not lazy. I'm nine months pregnant." 

    Thomas said she did not bring up her position in the Georgia House of Representatives and asked him to leave her and daughter alone.

    "My child is just sitting there. 'Mama why would he call you that?' I can't even explain to her why he has so much hate in his heart."

    Thomas was too upset to talk on camera Saturday, but she said Publix kicked the man out and he kept coming back inside. 

    Thomas did not record the incident on her phone, but there may be surveillance video and police are investigating. 

    Channel 2 Action News has reached out to Publix for an official comment. 

    Channel 2's Lauren Pozen spoke with attorney Gerald Griggs, who is on the board for Georgia NAACP chapter. Griggs told Pozen another state representative brought Thomas' video to his attention.

    “I was shocked and I told them that the Georgia NAACP will do whatever they can to help in this case," he said.  


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