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Sheriff Darr addresses breastfeeding incident at Piggly Wiggly

Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr took to Facebook this morning to apologize to a woman who was offended by a deputy who approached her at a Columbus Piggly Wiggly about openly breastfeeding in the store.

The sheriff said the deputy was working part time at the Piggly Wiggly over the weekend when some customers complained about a woman breastfeeding in the grocery store. He approached her while she was in the check-out line and asked her if she had something she could use to cover up.

“She got offended by that. He said he knew her rights, and he didn’t say anything else to her,” said Darr, who confirmed that Georgia law allows a mother to breastfeed a baby in any location where the mother and baby are authorized to be.

As a father of four children who were breastfed, the sheriff said he understands and appreciates her right to do so.

“My wife and I have four children who were breastfed, and two of my daughters now have small children of their own,” Darr said. “Therefore, I fully understand and appreciate the right of a woman to feed her child wherever she is most comfortable.”

Darr said someone told him this morning that a Facebook post about the incident was circulating on social media.

Darr said he spoke with the deputy about the incident this morning, and he stated that he only spoke to the woman about covering up because customers were complaining.

“I think she had the mindset that he said that she couldn’t (breastfeed) and that’s so far from the truth,” he said. “That’s my problem. People put that stuff out there on Facebook without getting all the facts.”

On Facebook, the sheriff apologized to the woman on behalf of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office.

“I would like to personally extend an apology, on behalf of the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office, to the woman involved, and we hope that she knows that these are not the opinions or practices of the office as a whole,” he said.

The Ledger-Enquirer made multiple attempts Monday to reach the mother for comment but was unsuccessful.

Sarah Robinson: 706-571-8622, @sarahR_92

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