Black Georgia lawmaker stands by claim of racially charged checkout confrontation

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A pregnant black Georgia lawmaker says she has not changed her claim that she was verbally attacked in a Cobb County grocery store and told to go back where she came from.

Over the weekend, State Rep. Erica Thomas, who is nine months pregnant, said she was with her 9-year-old daughter at a Publix when a man confronted her and told her to "go back where she came from," all while berating her and swearing at her.

And it was all because she had too many items in her cart in the express lane.

Thomas said she can't stand for long periods of time and was in the express line at the Publix when Eric Sparkes walked up to her and berated her for being in the line with too many items.

Sparkes admits calling Thomas a "b-----" but claims he never told her to "go back where she came from." Sparkes says he's Cuban, a Democrat, he isn't racist, and would never say anything like that.

At a news conference at the state Capitol Monday, Thomas insisted she is not backpedaling from her initial statements that Sparkes told her to "go back where she came from." 

"What we want to be clear today is that at no point did my client equivocate in what she has told from the very beginning," Thomas' attorney Gerald Griggs said.

Griggs says witnesses, surveillance video and an investigation underway by the Cobb police department will support Thomas' account of what happened.

Sparkes told FOX 5 News he was looking into exploring the possibility of suing the lawmaker for "defamation of character."

"She took an innocuous situation and made it a national debate about race when the situation that occurred in Publix was never about race," he said.