An NYC mother pulled over to breastfeed her 3 month old baby in a no-parking zone and received a $115 ticket. Should she have gotten off due to the circumstance? We discuss on Chasing News.

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Breastfeeding mother gets ticket in NYC no-parking zone

April 17th, 2019

 Bill Spadea: A Manhattan woman is furious tonight after being slapped with $115 parking ticket while she breastfed her three-week-old daughter in the backseat of her car, although she was parked in a commercial zone, our own Nate Rogers caught up with her today. Nate?

Nate Rogers: Bill, it was a situation that any mother with a frantic and hungry newborn can relate to, especially right here in New York City. Thursday morning, with three-week-old Eliana crying hysterically, Guillermina Rodrigues drove eight blocks and looking for a place to pull over and breastfeed. She eventually found a spot in a commercial zone here along eighth avenue, three minutes after hopping in the backseat, Rodriguez says a ticket agent arrived in a tow truck and started backing up towards her vehicle.

Guillermina Rodriguez: I’m like reaching over to honk so he can know that I’m there.

Nate Rogers: Rodriguez recorded this video during the incident. She says the ticket agent soon approached her car but never uttered a word.

Guillermina Rodriguez: And I’m showing him, you know, like, not evidence, but I’m showing, you know, like I’m breastfeeding, and he looks and he goes like that. And then he puts the ticket on the, on the front of the windshield.

Nate Rogers: Well of course, those laws were in place for a reason, but folks in the area say the ticket agent could have been a little bit more lenient.

Male: The officers should have used discretion because she was breastfeeding and gave her the benefit of the doubt and let her go.

Nate Rogers: A Breast-feeding consultant Laura Bush Gillman says the ticket agents’ actions don’t show compassion and send the wrong message.

Laura Bush: Would he have given her a ticket for sobbing over, for shortness of breath, would he have given her a ticket, if she had a flat tire. You know, I don’t think so.

Nate Rogers: While Rodriguez admits to knowingly illegally parking in the spot, but says she had no other option. She now plans to dispute that parking ticket. The NYPD says they were continuing to investigate this issue. In Manhattan, I’m Nate Rogers, for Chasing news.

Bill Spadea: Thanks Nate. All right. Let’s bring in tonight’s A plus Panel. We’re joined by former Prosecutor and now a Defense Attorney, Bob Bianchi. Good to see you Bob.

Robert Bianchi: Good to see you Bill.

Bill Spadea: Afia Yunus, immigration attorney back with us. Good to see you, Afia.

Afia Yunus: You too Bill.

Bill Spadea: Seems to me this woman got a huge break. He had the crane coming down. He could have towed her. I mean it looks like she should be thankful that it’s only $115 ticket. What do you say?

Afia Yunus: Well, I’m going to go out on a limb and say clearly, you’ve never breastfed. I personally breastfed three kids. When the three-week-old is screaming, crying, it can become physically painful. It can become a health-related emergency. For the mother.

Bill Spadea: Okay, I agree with all that.

Afia Yunus: Yeah, if she was in any other situation where she was maybe having some type of stroke or heart attack or any health-related emergency, the cop wouldn’t have given her a ticket. So, what’s different here?

Bill Spadea: Bob, I mean is it, is it, is it no parking with the exception of breastfeeding moms, I want to understand that. How did the law apply here?

Robert Bianchi: What seems to be true here is again, the culture of offense. I can do what I want, when I want, whenever I want to, whomever I want. How dare you tell me otherwise. That’s my opinion.

Bill Spadea: I mean, I think to that point, the equal application of the law and justice, I like to think of situations like that, you cut somebody a break, you know the ticket agent says, I’m not going to have you towed, but I got to write you a ticket because I have no choice here.

Afia Yunus: No, he did have a choice, or he or she did have a choice, first of all, he was attaching the car to the lever, didn’t even see that she was still in the car. And what kind of risky dangerous situation was that? And second of all, I think here there should be an exception.

Bill Spadea: Does everybody have a cry of discrimination these days?

Robert Bianchi: Again, I think if there’s a failure here, it would be to find out why you’re there and why you’re doing that, and if in fact it was some sort of emergency or you know, sir, I just, I had no other place to go and my baby’s crying, I’m hurting, whatever it may be. Then you can use the rule of reason in your discretion to cut somebody a break. We don’t know those facts to be true here yet because as far as I’m concerned, she may feel that from what we know, I can just pull over in the middle of the turnpike when cars are whizzing by at 60 miles an hour because I need to breastfeed.

Afia Yunus: I actually have done that. And the cop came and said, ma’am, what are you doing? I said, I’m breastfeeding. And he said, let me escort you off the exit ramp.

Robert Bianchi: New Jersey State Troopers. Great guys.

Bill Spadea: Alright, thanks guys.