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Breastfeeding Women Are Shamed by Police [UPDATED]

UPDATE 3/10/17: the following statement was issued by the Aurora Police Department. It clarifies the events described below and discusses the department’s subsequent response (which was admirable.):

It is unbelievable that people are still shaming moms for nursing their babies in (gasp!) public. At the very least, aren’t these people aware that someone will write a Facebook post about them?

Here’s what happened: Tiara Wilson, along with some other mom friends, decided to celebrate International Pancake Day (yes, it’s a thing) by eating at the International House of Pancakes (as you do). But when three of the moms began breastfeeding their babies at the table, a family (who had just came in) starting harassing them.

More: Why Moms Breastfeed in Public

Wilson writes on Facebook, “While breastfeeding, that same family of 3 that was sitting next to us, decided to snap a picture of us feeding our babies. He decided to make disgusting faces and snarky little remarks to his family. Then his family decided to take photos and decided that they would sit there the whole time and mean mug and again make nasty faces as everyone FED their babies.”

One of the moms alerted the manager who then contacted police in an apparent attempt to stop the harassment. The family even tried to leave before police arrived but the manager wouldn’t let them.

But when the two officers arrived, they didn’t help the moms at all. According to Wilson, the police officer said, “Go to the bathroom or use a cover if you don’t want to be bothered or have pictures snapped while feeding.”

This, naturally, did not sit well with Wilson. She wrote: “Do you eat your food in the bathroom? No. Are you eating under a blanket? No. DO NOT TELL A MOTHER, that she needs to go to the bathroom during an outing with friends to feed her little one. I am just in true disbelief that people still think it’s okay to have a mother feeding in a place where we use the bathroom. How is that even sanitary?”

Thank you, Tiara Wilson! It is ridiculous to encourage a nursing mom to sit on a toilet to feed her child so strangers don’t have to accidentally catch a sliver of boob.

More: Pope Francis Encourages Women to Breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel

Angry moms are now voicing their objections to how the officers reportedly behaved on the Aurora Police Department Facebook page. Some are pointing out how ironic it is that just a day after this incident, the department publicly saluted the women members of their agency for International Women’s Day.

One woman wrote on Facebook, “If you respect the women in your agency, you should respect the women in your community who are simply choosing to feed their babies.”

The department says they’re looking into what happened at the IHOP. Wilson hopes the department learns from this experience and continues to educate their officers. I happen to think these officers owe these superstar moms a public apology, at the very least, and a big stack of free pancakes.

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