Warning: some of the language and visuals in this post and the video below may be inappropriate for some viewers.
TORRINGTON — A video of a woman who was verbally assaulted while breastfeeding her baby in a Target store in Torrington is going viral.
Jessie Maher, who lives in Canton, posted the video Monday morning after she says she was “verbally assaulted by an old man in Target for breastfeeding my baby.” Maher filmed the entire incident.
It all began around 11:30 a.m. Monday morning at the Torrington Target store. Jessie wrote that before she started filming, the man looked at her and angrily asked, “Can’t you do that somewhere else? That’s f****** disgusting.” He also called her a “whore.”
Jessie wrote on her Facebook page that after she responded that she had the right to breastfeed and that he should “walk the f*** away,” he complained to the store’s staff and asked for a refund. It turns out, the staff didn’t feel too sorry for the man.
About halfway through the video another patron comes over to Jessie and offers her support, saying she wasn’t doing anything wrong. “You shouldn’t be ashamed of feeding your baby, okay? He can go the other way. This is a beautiful moment right now, if he doesn’t like it he can go,” the woman can be heard saying.
The man says that Jessie was being disrespectful to him, to which the defender replied, “Then don’t look.”
Then, something truly amazing happens: a group of Target staff members comes and stands between the man and Jessie, defending her actions. You can see one of the employees gesturing for the man to walk away and leave.
Jessie wrote in a comment on her post that one of the male employees “was so sweet… He kept saying, ‘It’s your right to nurse where ever you want here.”
According to an article from the Huffington Post in 2015, Target’s employee handbook states that “guests may openly breastfeed in our stores,” and further adds that “Target’s policy supports breastfeeding in any area of our stores, including our fitting rooms, even if others are waiting.”
Breastfeeding in public is a legally protected right in Connecticut.
By Tuesday morning, the video had been viewed more than 2.5 million times.