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Mom Fights Back After a Police Officer Allegedly Told Her It's Illegal to Breastfeed in Public

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A Georgia mom is speaking out after a police officer allegedly told her that she couldn’t breastfeed in public.

Savannah Shukla says she was breastfeeding her 1-month-old son at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Columbus, Georgia, when a sheriff’s deputy approached and said she “needed to cover up because someone might find it ‘offensive,’ ” and that if her nipple was exposed he would have to arrest her for indecent exposure, the new mom writes on Facebook.

“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,’ ” Shukla writes. “For him to see my areola he would’ve had to have been staring VERY hard.”

Savannah Shukla

Shukla says she informed the deputy of Georgia law, which allows women to nurse “in any location where the mother and baby are otherwise authorized to be.”

Another woman who witnessed the incident snapped a photo of Shukla arguing with the deputy and posted her own message on Facebook, which Shukla later posted as well.

“I told the deputy I have no problem with her feeding her infant,” the woman writes. “I had heard of women being told to stop breastfeeding but I had never witnessed it in real life. I was so angry I was shaking, she was so upset she was having trouble gathering herself.”

RELATED VIDEO: Nursing or Not? Moms Talk About the Pressure to Breastfeed

Sheriff John Darr posted his own response to the incident on Facebook Monday morning, saying that he had consulted with the deputy and was looking into the matter.

“My wife and I have four children, each of whom were breastfed, and two of my daughters now have small children of their own. Therefore, I fully understand and appreciate the right of a woman to feed her child wherever she is most comfortable,” Darr wrote. “Our office does not condone these actions and will ensure all officers know and understand the law. On behalf of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to personally extend an apology to the woman involved, and we hope that she knows that these are not the opinions or practices of the office as a whole.”

Shukla told WTVM News that she filed an official complaint Monday morning, and hopes that no other mom will go through the same experience.

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“It was horrifying, absolutely horrifying that somebody, who like I said, is supposed to protect me, threatened to arrest me and I hadn’t even done anything wrong,” she says.

Darr posted on Facebook again that night, adding that he had met with Shukla, and is “very concerned” about her treatment.

“We have sent out a reminder to all of our deputies, that in accordance with Georgia law, a woman has a legal right to breastfeed wherever she needs to, without having to cover up.”