“It didn’t get physical. It was nothing like that. I was upset that he refused to do it,” said Thomas, who represents an Austell-based district. “Take it down. It’s just not OK. He hemmed and hawed. I couldn’t believe it. It’s too much for us to be dealing with here.”
Clark later deleted the meme, which was posted by one of his Facebook followers.
The Suwanee Republican said in a statement that his initial online remarks were a reaction to a “terrible post” by another lawmaker, state Rep. Park Cannon, that he felt compared the police to the Ku Klux Klan.
“I expressed my disapproval of the post online and Rep. Thomas approached me while visibly angry. She came at me in a very aggressive manner, making me think she wanted to hit me,” he said. “Another House member got in her way and the situation then de-escalated.”
Clark’s post condemned Cannon, D-Atlanta, for using the hashtag “#KlanAtTheCapitol” below a picture of Georgia State Patrol officers stationed outside the House chambers earlier this week.
Cannon's post was critical of a measure that increases criminal penalties for anyone convicted of committing a crime against a police officer or other first responder. She wrote it shortly after returning from the funeral of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot to death by a police officer last week.
Cannon declined to comment and has since deleted the post.
Several witnesses said the confrontation between the two lawmakers was tense but not threatening. State Rep. Doreen Carter, D-Lithonia, said Thomas and a colleague made Clark aware of the meme and that his response was infuriating to them.
“They wanted him to understand a noose on your Facebook page is never OK.”