Columbus, GA – A woman’s Facebook post went viral after a deputy sheriff allegedly threatened to arrest the woman if she refused to stop breastfeeding her baby in public – claiming that it some individuals may find it “offensive.”
Upon being accosted by the officer, Savvy Shukla uploaded a photo and post addressing the incident that took place while in a Piggly Wiggly grocery store with her two children and sister.
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!