WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island mother is contemplating a lawsuit against the Riverhead Police Department after being scolded for breastfeeding her daughter.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, Andrea Zeledon-Mussio was in Wading River, Long Island filing a complaint against her ex-husband when her 9-week-old daughter got hungry.
She said when she began breastfeeding her baby in her SUV, an officer from the Riverhead Police Department told her to cover up several times.
“The first thing out of his mouth was ‘ma’am cover that up.’ I said, ‘officer, I’m sorry, I’m nursing my baby.’ And he said ‘ma’am cover that up.’ He was so stern and adamant, I thought is he gonna arrest me?” Zeledon-Mussio told Hall. “I had my infant in the car and my 12-year-old son. My son thought I was gonna get arrested so much so that he offered me his t-shirt. He’s like, ‘I’ll just give you my t-shirt and you can just cover up with that.'”
Zeledon-Mussio said she complied with the officer’s demand, but explained to him she had a right to nurse her baby.
“I just want you to know that what you’re asking me is illegal. You cannot ask a woman to cover up while breastfeeding,” she told Hall.
Zeledon-Mussio said she is now thinking of suing the police department. She said she wants to make sure everyone knows that public breastfeeding is not illegal under New York State law.
The police department did not respond to a request for comment.
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