Georgia, Muscogee County.
This post appeared on facebook on September 25, 2016:
“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.”
Savvy then added this picture of the encounter:
Ga. Code An. § 31-1-9
“The breast-feeding of a baby is an important and basic act of nurture which should be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health. A mother may breast-feed her baby in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.” (emphasis added)
When a Georgia deputy approaches a woman that is breastfeeding in a grocery store, and she is in no way doing anything otherwise that causes this deputy concern, and this deputy proceeds to mention that he can see her areola, and mentions her nipple, and then threatens to arrest her, THIS is sexually predatory, in my opinion. At the least, it is sexual harassment.
And that is just what happened in Columbus Georgia on the given date of September 25, 2016, in the Piggly Wiggly grocery store.
This Deputy had no business even observing the actions of the breastfeeding mother, but to use the actions as a threat to arrest her, when her actions are legally protected in Georgia? That is predatory, and it is quite symptomatic of what is going on in this deputy’s mind.
Appearances are that Deputy “Zipata”[unknown if this is the correct spelling or not, but it will be confirmed, and he is pictured in this story] has:
– A need to control women
– A need to invoke his sense of “decency” upon others who are totally within their rights, but outside of his belief system.
– A need to have his ego control the situation. (Blue EGOS Matter.)
– A need to observe women in compromised positions and exert authority over them.
– A need to be concerned with the natural function between a woman and her child
– A need to point out that he can see a woman’s areola, and mention her nipple when the woman is simply breastfeeding.
It’s the last one that makes my blood boil. I see it as sexually predatory for the Deputy to believe that he has the right to approach women that breastfeed in a public place, when they have the right to be there, and THREATEN them with arrest.
The fact that this mother broke down in tears is evidence that Deputy “Zipata” has breached her trust in the system, and aggressed upon her in a harmful way.
The actions of the Deputy are the actions of the Sheriff, according to the law of agency. Thus, the Sheriff is responsible to this young mother to repair the breach that has occurred.
The Sheriff issued this response to a review I placed on the Muscogee County Sheriff’s facebook page:
While it is honorable to get on this immediately, and apologize, this does NOT remedy the deputy’s actions. He needs to be fired, or at the least reprimanded, and the mother should sue the Sheriff for discrimination, disturbance of the peace, harassment, emotional trauma, and other causes for action.
I urge you to contact the Sheriff and demand accountability for this jerk. The Sheriff’s apology alone is not sufficient to ensure that this Deputy will not further sexually harass breastfeeding mothers.
Sheriff John T. Darr
I offered for the Sheriff to respond further, without response from him.