Portions taken from: The Free Thought Project
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.
Here are Georgia’s breastfeeding laws.
Being aware of the law surrounding breastfeeding in Georgia, she attempted to inform the deputy that she was legally allowed to breastfeed her baby in public. The officer, most likely feeling threatened due to Shukla’s stated knowledge of the law, promptly responded by attempting to assert his perceived authority by claiming she only thought she knew the law. He then proceeded to threaten her with arrest.
“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 have you arrested for being offensive. This isn’t like the first amendment where you can say something offensive,” Shukla claimed the agitated deputy told her.
“I’m so upset about it and I understand why this type of harassment can cause moms to stop,” she added. After Muscogee County Sheriff John T. Darr found out about the incident, he initially took to his Facebook page Monday morning to clarify that breastfeeding is legal in Georgia, and extended his apologies for the incident.
However, in typical blue wall of silence fashion, Darr reversed course, telling the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that after speaking with the deputy, he was informed that the deputy had simply told Shukla that she might want to “cover up” after being approached by customers.
Since we all know an officer accused of breaking the law would never lie, Darr took the typical thin blue line stance of essentially calling the victim a liar who publicized the incident falsely and without justification.
“I think she had the mindset that he said that she couldn’t (breastfeed), and that’s so far from the truth,” Darr told the Ledger-Enquirer. “That’s my problem. People put that stuff out there on Facebook without getting all the facts.”
Shukla, being keenly aware of exactly what had actually taken place took to Facebook again to respond to the article and vehemently refute the fabrications now being forwarded by Sheriff Darr.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the deputy got caught violating Georgia state law, and his superiors, rather than hold him accountable for his actions, chose to circle the wagons and begin victim blaming. Feeding a hungry child is no crime, and victimizing a mother feeding her baby is utterly reprehensible. No woman should be accosted by law enforcement for simply feeding her hungry child.
Please share this story if you are infuriated by the actions of this deputy and his Sheriff!