This is an illustration of a case that could have easily led an arrest. This is thankfully just a news story. Often a case likes this leads to an arrest. There is an argument on why the police acted the way it did. They were arguably looking in the best interest of the child. The issue is when an incident like this leads to arrest will it lead to a conviction. Can 12 jurors all agree on finding this lady guilty of child endangerment? It is the San Diego prosecution who will review to determine that question.
Just fruit for thought on a Saturday.
A mother who said she was told to move or leave a concert Thursday night because she was breastfeeding her baby is speaking out about the incident. But Chula Vista Police said that’s not why she was asked to move or leave.
Megan Christopherson said she was enjoying Thursday night’s Brad Paisley concert at the Sleep Train Amphitheater, when a security guard told her she needed to leave the pit area in front because people had complained about her breastfeeding her 4-month-old daughter Gracie.
“She (the security guard) said that there were complaints about me and that I needed to stop, so I said I’ll stop when my baby’s done nursing,” Christopherson said.
Christopherson was videotaping with her cell phone when moments later, a Chula Vista police officer walked up with a different message.
“I need you to come outside because you’re putting your child in danger with the loud music,” the officer is heard to say on the video. And the officer had another concern.
“The child doesn’t have hearing protection on. The crowd is going to surge forward, where you’re at you’re gonna get crushed. So we’re afraid of your child getting crushed and we’re afraid of your child’s ear drums being hurt,” the officer said.
The officer said it was time to leave the pit area. “My child is absolutely sleeping and I’m getting escorted by police,” Christopherson says on her video..
“I would say it’s probably not a good idea to have an infant or young child at loud rock concerts,” said pediatrician Dr. Richard Short. Short said in addition to well-placed concerns about being injured by a surging crowd, the officer was right to demand that Christopherson move away from the front pit area.
“I think it’s approprirate for the people to be concerned about the child’s danger of hearing loss,” he said.
But Christopherson said her daughter was not disturbed by the noise. She said the concerns about noise and getting crushed were not the real issue.
“It completely was a cop-out,” she said. “They’re trying to cover this up because they know they legally can’t remove me for nursing.”
Police offered to either re-locate Christopherson to a seat or give her a refund. She took the refund.
Chula Vista police issued a statement about the incident which said in part, “The Chula Vista Police Department’s involvement in this incident was due to the welfare and safety of the infant and not due to a mother’s legal right to breastfeed in public.”
Megan Christopherson said she will continue to take her daughter Gracie and her 8-year old daughter that was also there to concerts. But she said she won’t be coming back to the Sleep Train Amphitheater.
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