11/30/2009 7:42 p.m.
Jose and Mary Martinez visited a Target store in Harper Woods, MI on Sunday. The mother says she started breast-feeding her child, security said it was illegal, they disagreed, and then the cops were called.
She's a mother of three. The youngest, her four-week-old girl, Raka. Breast-feeding is a daily part of life whether at home or at the store. That's why Mary Martinez was surprised to be stopped at the Target store. She and her husband told this by security: "He said, 'It's against the law. You have to go,'" said Jose Martinez.
Jose, a Detroit police officer, knew it isn't against the law even in the electronics aisle at Target. The couple say it wasn't crowded in that section at the time.
"It wasn't busy. One gentleman came through and... he complained about the prices," said Mary Martinez.
Harper Woods police were called to the scene. They joined Target security talking with the Martinez family until the couple and child left embarrassed.
"I asked one of them if it was indeed illegal maybe in Harper Woods to breast-feed. He said, 'No.' And that was it. We got our stuff together and we left," Jose Martinez said.
FOX 2 contacted Target's corporate headquarters. They tell us they allow mothers to breast-feed in their stores. But, "This specific situation escalated to a point where we were concerned for the safety of our guests, so law enforcement was called. We regret the incident in our store and will continue to provide a shopping environment that respects the needs of all guests, including nursing mothers."
"Forcing me out of the store. Two security guards, the manager or team leader, two officers, they just made a spectacle and a scene. I feel like I can't go to that specific Target anymore," Mary Martinez said.
In addition to talking with the corporate management at Target, we spoke to the manager of the Harper Woods store. She says breast-feeding is certainly not discouraged inside of her store.