- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 13, 2014

A California woman says she was escorted by police out of Brad Paisley’s concert in Chula Vista Thursday night because she was breastfeeding her baby in the pit area.

A 10-minute clip of the incident, posted on YouTube Friday and later removed, reportedly showed the mother, Megan Christopherson, with her baby in a carrier being confronted by an officer at Sleep Train Amphitheatre.

In the video, the Chula Vista police officer removes the woman from the pit area and takes her outside. The officer can be seen telling Ms. Christopherson that she needed to leave the area for the safety of the child, a local ABC affiliate reported.

“Your child doesn’t have hearing protection on,” the officer can be heard saying. “The crowd is going to start surging forward. Where you’re at, your child can get crushed. So we’re afraid of your child getting crushed, and we’re afraid of your child’s eardrums being hurt, OK. That is borderline, probably, child endangerment.”

“Do you know that the security guards asked me to stop breastfeeding my child?” Ms. Christopherson asks, the station reported.

“This has nothing to do with the breastfeeding. I’m explaining to you, it’s your child getting crushed with everyone getting pushed forward,” the officer explains.

The officer then gives the woman the options of either moving to a safer location or leaving the concert and receiving a full refund.

Ms. Christopherson chose the latter, but the video has caused outrage on social media by people who believe she was targeted for her breastfeeding.

Carmen Cooley-Graham, who was in the same section as as Ms. Christopherson and witnessed the incident, agreed that it was all about breastfeeding, not the child’s safety. She told the station that no one said anything to the mother until two hours into the event.

“All of the sudden they said we have complaints of you breastfeeding. Really?” said Ms. Colley-Graham.

Ms. Cooley-Graham said she believes a couple of young women who tried, and failed, to enter the pit area reported Ms. Christopherson to security. She said after Ms. Christopherson was forced to leave, she saw one of the women give the security guard a high-five, the ABC affiliate reported.

“Not once was this child showing any signs of distress,” Ms. Cooley-Graham said.

Ms. Christopherson said she had taken her baby to concerts before at Sleep Train Amphitheatre with no issues and questioned why she was allowed to bring the infant in at all if it was such a dangerous place, the station reported.

She said she will seek the advice of an attorney and that she plans to join other mothers at a “nurse-in” outside Sleep Train Amphitheatre in the near future.

“I want to stand up for all nursing women and stand up for what’s right,” she told the station. “It was completely a cop-out. They’re trying to cover this up because they know they legally cannot remove me for nursing.”

The Chula Vista Police Department said in a statement that its involvement in the incident “was due to the welfare and safety of the infant and not due to a mother’s legal right to breastfeed in public.”

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