A mom in Columbus, Georgia, says that a deputy threatened to arrest her for "offensive" breastfeeding while she was in a grocery store on Sept. 25.
Savvy Shukla wrote about her experience on Facebook where her posting has gone viral:
Tonight while in Piggly Wiggly with my sister and both my children (the oldest 20mos and the youngest 1month old today) while nursing a Deputy approached me right when I was about to leave and informed that I needed to cover up because someone might find it "offensive."
I repeated the law back to him stating that Georgia state law says I can breastfeed however most comfortable wherever I want as long as I'm authorized to be there.
He then grows flustered and says "No ma'am that's not the case." And I said "No I know what the law says" for him to say:
"You just THINK you know what the law says and if your nipple becomes exposed I really don't want to have to arrest you or you be arrested for being offensive. This isn't like the first amendment where you can say something offensive."
I then repeated what the GA state law says and told him if someone finds this offensive something is wrong with them.
For him to tell me once again that I just "think" I know the law.
He also pointed out how he could "already see my areola" and that if someone saw my nipple (even if I were trying to cover up) that he would have to arrest me and that he "really didn't want to arrest me." For him to see my areola he would've had to have been staring VERY hard.
I finally got mad enough and walked away telling him I know my right to have a good night. And went to the car and boohooed and I'm still boohooing about it.
I'd like to thank April the Paralegal for defending me, taking this picture and getting his name for me.
I'm so upset about it and I understand why this type of harassment can cause moms to stop.
I WILL be reporting this to whoever his higher ups are tomorrow morning because if he did it to me he will do it to someone else. And who knows who else he's done it too.
Muscogee County Sheriff John T. Darr apologized for the incident on Sept. 26 on his Facebook page: "I would like to personally extend an apology, on behalf of the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office, to the woman involved, and we hope that she knows that these are not the opinions or practices of the office as a whole," notes the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
However, Darr seemed to shift the blame on the breastfeeding mom, after he spoke to the deputy, when he told the newspaper that same day: "I think she had the mindset that he said that she couldn’t (breastfeed) and that’s so far from the truth. That’s my problem. People put that stuff out there on Facebook without getting all the facts."
Darr did not present evidence that proved the mom's version on Facebook was "so far from the truth" or did not include "all the facts."