Woman says she was kicked out of concert for breastfeeding
A woman who attended a Brad Paisley concert Thursday in Chula Vista, California, says she was escorted out by police because she was breastfeeding her 4-month-old baby during the show. Megan Christopherson recorded the exchange.
"I need you to come outside because you're putting your child in danger of being crushed by the loud music. I've already called the district attorney's office. I need you to come with me."
Christopherson posted the video to YouTube Friday morning after the concert, but has since taken the footage down.
KNSD obtained the 10-minute video and gives a thorough summary on its website. The station notes that the officer never said Christopherson was being asked to leave the pit area because she was breastfeeding, instead telling her: "Your child doesn't have hearing protection on. The crowd is going to start surging forward. Where you're at, your child could get crushed. We're afraid of your child's eardrums being hurt."
But Christopherson isn't buying it. She says before police approached her, a female security guard told her that people were complaining about her breastfeeding.
She told KGTV: "It's a country concert. I wasn't at a death metal or a rap concert. It's pretty somber at country concerts."
"I want to stand up for all nursing women and stand up for what's right."
California law allows mothers to breastfeed their children in any public or private location.
A fellow concertgoer who saw the whole exchange told KGTV that the baby seemed perfectly content at the concert and said that she didn't understand why Christopherson was removed two hours into the show.
"All of a sudden they said, 'We have complaints of you breastfeeding.' ... They saw the baby, so they knew when they took her extra money to upgrade her seats that there was a baby involved."
The Chula Vista Police Department released a statement saying its officers were summoned to the Sleep Train Amphitheatre after Christopherson refused to leave. "She was presented with two options; she could be relocated to a seated area (free of charge) or receive a full refund. The Chula Vista Police Department's 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."
Christopherson, who decided to take the full refund and leave the the concert, says that she's planning to hire a lawyer and wants the security company for the concert to issue a formal apology.
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