Police with guns drawn broke into an anti-vaxx couple's apartment to take their son, who had a high fever, into custody after his parents refused to take him to hospital.
Sarah Beck, from Chandler, Arizona, brought her two-year-old son to the Southwest College of Natropathic Medicine on 25 February, where she was told that he had a temperature that exceeded 105, reports NBC News.
The doctor that treated the child believed he could be suffering from a 'life-threatening' illness, which would be picked up if the woman took the child to a clinic to be tested at a hospital.
Beck, however, refused because she feared there would be repercussions as she'd never immunised the child, a report by the Chandler Police Department said, reports NBC News.
When a doctor discovered that the child hadn't made it to the hospital, she put a call in to the Department of Child Safety, saying that the child needed 'immediate medical attention', police said.
When police arrived at the couple's apartment, and in scenes reminiscent of an anti-drugs raid, police kicked down the door, taking the matter into their own hands.
When they eventually broke into the house, they found two other children showing signs of sickness, and took all three to hospital, before placing them into foster care.
Speaking to NBC News after the event, a lawyer for the Becks said that the way the children had been removed was:
...was clearly unnecessary and well beyond 'reasonable force'.
The statement continued 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 Department of Child Safety said it could not comment on specific cases, but described the incident as standard practice.
In a statement 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.
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