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“Have more respect for yourself,” Breastfeeding mother says she was shamed by police officer

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OMAHA, Neb. – Rosalyn Mizzell says her 4-month-old son, Calvin, is her world.

Around the clock, Mizzell has to breastfeed Calvin and Tuesday was no exception.

She says she was attending an OPS Human Development forum when her son became hungry.

Mizzell told KMTV that a man told police that her breastfeeding was “offensive” to him.

At that point, she was confronted by an officer.

“The first thing she said to me is, ‘Don’t do that in front of me. Have more respect for yourself and everybody else here,” she said. 

Mizzell says the officer threatened to cite her for indecent exposure if she refused to comply.

However, Nebraska law states that a mother may breastfeed her child in any public or private location.

“Officers followed up, and did not cite the woman for any offenses. As for claims or allegations of inappropriate behavior by officers, we recommend Ms. Mizzell file a formal complaint with the department so we can investigate her claims,” a statement from Omaha Police Department said.

Mizzell says the officer apologized, but it wasn’t what she was hoping to hear.

“Her apology went along the lines of, ‘I was offended, other people were offended. If you wanted to breastfeed, you could have done it in the bathroom or stayed home,” she said. “Police are the ones who are supposed to know what the laws are, and they’re supposed to uphold the law. It’s their job to protect my legal right to breastfeed, not to shame me for doing that.”

Mizzell says she plans to file a formal complaint.