Police with weapons drawn broke into an anti-vaxx couple’s home and ordered their three children into the custody of the Department of Child Safety after the parents refused to take their sick son to the hospital, reports NBC News.
Arizona woman Sarah Beck on Feb. 25 took her two-year-old son to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where she was told he had a temperature of 105 and needed to be taken to the hospital.
According to the publication, a report by the Chandler Police Department stated that doctor at the clinic believed the boy might be suffering from a “life-threatening” illness that could not be tested at the clinic. Beck was hesitant to take her son to the hospital because he was unvaccinated and she feared “possible repercussions.”
Police kicked down the family’s door after Sarah Beck and her husband Brooks Bryce refused to let them into the house. Authorities found the two other children “in their bedroom, which was covered in stains of unknown origin,” and showing signs of sickness. All three children were taken to the hospital before being placed in foster care for the time being.
Speaking to NBC News after the rescue, a lawyer for the Beck and Bryce said that the way the children had been removed “…was clearly unnecessary and well beyond ‘reasonable force'” and argued that Beck “…has a fundamental, constitutionally-protected right to the care, custody, and management of her children. These rights do not evaporate simply because the Department of Child Safety believes they know better.”
The police report noted that “the children advised us they had vomited several times in their beds, and had stains around their mouths,” that the home was in “total disarray” to the point where clutter “made it difficult to walk in the rooms,” and that an unsecured shotgun was found leaning up against a wall by the parents’ bed.
The Department of Child Safety issued a statement explaining it could not comment on specific cases, but calling the incident standard practice. They said:
“Two years ago, the DCS supported a law to require DCS specialists to obtain a court order prior to removing a child from their home, and a recently passed amendment gave law enforcement agencies assisting DCS authority to ‘use reasonable force’ to enter any building in which the person named in the removal authorisation is or is reasonably believed to be.”
“Since the laws took effect, DCS specialists have been obtaining court orders in child removals and seeking assistance from law enforcement agencies when necessary to ensure the safety of a child.”
h/t NBC News