The scene looks like something of a drug attack in the middle of the night. With weapons drawn, police officers in tactical west surround a beige ranch house in anonymous subdivision. With one decisive step, you step down the door. "Go with your hands up!" Cries an officer, as the blinding rays of a flashlight sweep the room.
But the police in Chandler, Ariz., Was not looking for a collection of illegal narcotics when they showed up at the police a modest home in the suburbs of Phoenix on February 25th. Instead, they were looking for a two-year-old man who was suffering from a dangerously high fever. The boy's mother, Sarah Beck, allegedly ignored the doctors' instructions and did not bring him to the emergency room because she feared that she might get into trouble because he was not vaccinated. When officials turned up for social security hours later, the child's father refused to let her in. He said everything was fine and the fever was over. Finally, the police decided to take matters into their own hands.
"They treated us like criminals and crashed into our door," Brooks Bryce, the baby's father, told KPNX last month. "I mean, I do not know what trauma my children did."
On Thursday, the authorities released body-tracking material from the incident, stating that they had decided to force "entry" because they were two years old. The health and well-being of old children were at risk, and he needed immediate medical attention , However, critics argue that the parents were right in their own right to realize that a costly hospital visit was unnecessary, and that the dramatic late night robbery might have caused irreparable harm to their three young children. More than a month later, according to the Arizona Republic, all three children are still in care homes. Bryce and Beck are now fighting to get her back.
"We love our children, we love them," Beck told KPHO. "If our children needed help, we would definitely help them."
The complicated saga began with a searing fever. At 5 pm On February 25, Beck brought her son to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, according to the police. The doctor there noted the temperature of the boy and found that the temperature was over 105 degrees. After consulting coworkers in two regional hospitals, the doctor told Beck that the mother could bring the infant to the emergency room so quickly, as it might show signs of a life-threatening illness that she could not test at the clinic as possible. (Lawyers said earlier this month that the doctor feared the 2-year-old had meningitis, the Republic reported.)
Beck initially refused, says the police report. She told the naturopathic doctor she was worried that the hospital would report her to the Arizona Department of Child Safety for disregarding her child's vaccination and that her husband, who supports the vaccine, was upset by the situation. (In fact, Arizona parents can refuse the vaccination for personal, religious, or medical reasons.) After reassuring herself that she would not be reported to the authorities, she gave in. The clinician sent her to a nearby children's hospital, called the emergency room and asked her to let her know when Beck had turned up.
She never did that. Instead, at around 6:30 pm, Beck rang the clinic again, saying that she had bought a thermometer on the way home and that her son's temperature had dropped, according to the police report. Later, she told KPHO that after leaving the clinic, her son "behaved normally" and "danced with his sisters in the car seat" and that his temperature had dropped to 102. When they got home, she sank even more, Beck said.
The doctor told Beck that she should still go to the emergency room to make sure the boy is recovering, according to the police report. Beck allegedly said she was nervous and asked if she could lie about her son being vaccinated. The doctor told her that she could not, and warned her that she would have to report her to the authorities if she did not bring her son to a hospital or emergency clinic soon.
Hours Later After Beck Leaks When she answered her phone calls, the doctor called the Arizona Department of Child Safety and said she had called numerous hospitals but could not find the family. The agency contacted the Chandler Police Department and asked police officers to conduct a social checkup. By now it was almost 10:30 pm.
] When officers showed up and started knocking on the door, they heard children coughing inside. Nobody answered. Bryce talked to the police on the phone, but did not let them in and said that the 2-year-old's fever was broken and everything was fine, the police report says. He asked her to leave. When they told him that they were legally required to examine the child, Bryce hung up.
After about an hour, DCS received a court order that allowed him to temporarily detain the 2-year-old child for emergency treatment. Just before midnight, the officers again asked Bryce to talk to them outside. He reportedly told them that he was not forced to take his child to the hospital and eventually settle for a "big three" bill. The police issued another warning and shut the door shortly before 1.30am. Inside, they found out that two more children, ages 6 and 4, in their report stated that the house was a mess with many piles of clothes scattered on the floor. In the parents' bedroom, the police found a shotgun beside the bed. Bryce later told KPHO that the gun was not working.
"We found the other two children in their bedroom, which was covered with stains of unknown origin," wrote one officer. "The children told us that they vomited several times in their beds and had spots around their mouths, and one child told me that her stomach hurt." All three children were taken to a hospital and taken to care facilities there. According to the Republic, the two-year-old was ultimately diagnosed with a respiratory virus. The other children do not seem to have had serious medical problems.
Nicholas Boca, a lawyer representing the child's mother in a juvenile court case, told the Washington Post Police were "completely unjustified" in their use of force. "They had their weapons drawn and crashed into a house with three sleeping children," he said. "It is ridiculous."
From the point of view of his client, Boca added, there was never any need for emergency treatment. He pointed out that hours had passed before the doctor got in touch with DCS. "If this was an immediate emergency, why did not the doctor put the baby in an ice bath?" he asked. "Why did not the doctor take the child directly to the emergency room?"
Both the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and the clinician have not yet commented on the incident. Darren DaRonco, spokesman for Arizona DCS, said in a statement shared with The Post that the agency can not discuss specific cases due to confidentiality laws. However, he noted that police officers who support child welfare officials can "use appropriate force". To enter buildings.
According to Patheos, an online religion market, the parental home move led to a virus conspiracy theory that quickly spread to anti-vaccine Facebook groups, claiming that unvaccinated children were "stolen". from the authorities. "Almost immediately, discussions broke out that Arizona DCS kidnaps unvaccinated children to sell them to nursing homes," the website reported. "Many said that unvaccinated children are in high demand because they are incredibly healthy, and some discussed a" kidnapping cartel "in Arizona."
Although obviously untrue, these rumors seem to have examined the case more closely. Arizona State Representative Kelly Townsend, who said earlier this month that compulsory measles shots were "communist," told the Republic that she had been made aware of her "that these parents may have been targeted by the medical community because they were not vaccinated by their children. "
Speaking of a juvenile court case this month, Townsend expressed concern that the children had been permanently traumatized because they were separated and taken to a nursing home After the police broke open their door and handcuffed their father. On Facebook, she described the episode as "a complete miscarriage of justice and a shame on the state of Arizona" and demanded that the children be returned promptly. In a conversation with the Republic she compared the actions of the officials with those of the Gestapo.
When Townsend was contacted by The Post on Thursday night, she was a little more reserved and said she saw the doctor's perspective as more secure than sorry. The situation might have come to a different end, with parents opening their door and talking to the police, she admitted. Nevertheless, Townsend said, she could easily understand the decision to stop an expensive trip to the emergency room because the child no longer has a high fever. The case raises further questions about parents' right to make decisions about caring for their children, she added.
"Is the doctor a person of authority who needs to listen or risk losing your family?" she asked.
– The Washington Post