Target: Detective Scott Harding of the Greenburgh Police Department
Goal: Get an official apology from Detective Scott Harding for treating a diplomat and his wife who was breastfeeding her baby as terrorists
Recently, a Belgian diplomat Tom Neijens, his wife, Roseline Remans, and their 4-month-old daughter, Luka, had lunch at a country club in White Plains, New York. They had permission to dine on the terrace. When Remans began to discreetly nurse her daughter at the table, a staff member requested her to continue breastfeeding Luka in the bathroom, informing her that she was disturbing the members and must leave immediately. Although breastfeeding is accepted as the healthiest option for babies, mothers are often shamed for publicly breastfeeding. To make matters worse, the Greenburgh Police Department showed up and then treated the family like terrorists.
On the scene, Detective Scott Harding allegedly screamed, “Close the doors!” and told two other diners to vacate the terrace. The Belgian Diplomat described Harding’s actions as though Harding was walking in a “Western movie” with one hand on his gun, and the other on his taser. The officer believed they were terrorists because Neijens was carrying a black backpack. On the verge of tears, Remans questioned why terrorists would breastfeed at a ritzy golf club. The detective allegedly responded by saying “In Sri Lanka, babies are used by terrorists.”
Harding changed his tone when Neijens revealed his State Department-issued ID. Harding did not offer an apology to the family, instead the cop said, “You have to understand, this club has had terrorism threats in the past.” Sign the petition to demand Detective Harding to apologize to the family for his insensitive and discriminatory actions and words.
Dear Detective Scott Harding,
Recently, a family of three had lunch at a country club in White Plains, New York. The mother, Roseline Remans, discreetly bared her bosom to breastfeed her 4-month-old baby, Luka on the terrace. She was told by staffers to continue her breastfeeding in the bathroom. She was shamed for feeding her baby in public even though breastfeeding is the healthiest option for babies. Not soon after being publicly chastised and shamed for simply feeding her baby, you came to the scene, and branded her and her whole family as terrorists.
You called them terrorists because her husband, a Belgian diplomat named Tom Neijens was carrying a black backpack. When Remans asked you why would terrorists breastfeed their baby in a ritzy golf club, you simply responded, saying “In Sri Lanka, babies are used by terrorists.” Your words and actions deeply hurt the family. When Neijens showed you his State Department-issued ID, you did not offer an apology, instead you said “You have to understand, this club has had terrorism threats in the past.” As we can try to understand that the ritzy club has had terrorism threats in the past, you have to understand that what you did was discriminatory and ignorant. Officially apologize to the family for your discriminatory and hurtful actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Daquella manera via Flickr