It looked like something out of Narcos. Police broke down the door with guns drawn and shields raised. But this was no drug dealer behind the door. In fact, it was the opposite. It was a woman who refused to use drugs: vaccines to be specific.
Actually the first person they wanted was a 2 year old child with a dangerously high fever. The little boys mother refused to follow doctor's orders to get the kid to an emergency room. The doctor feared the boy had menangitis. According to reports in the Salt Lake Tribune, she was afraid to go to the emergency room because they would find out her child wasn't vaccinated.
Sarah Beck and Bryce Brooks refused to let a welfare check into the house, saying the child was fine. But a judge granted a court order to forcibly bring the child to the hospital.
Earlier, a naturopathic doctor told her she needed to go to the hospital. But Beck was afraid she would be reported to Child Safety because the boy wasn't vaccinated (she is against vaccination, the boys father is pro vaccination). She also said the visit would upset Brooks, the father. The doctor assured her she wouldn't get reported. It's lawful for a parent to opt out of vaccinations for religious, personal, or medical reasons. Beck said she would go to the hospital, but never did.
The mom said his fever had gone down and he was playing with his sisters. Beck asked the doctor if she could lie to the hospital about vaccinations, and the doctor said she could not. The doctor told her on the phone to go there anyway and make sure the child was recovering. If Beck didn't, she would call the authorities. She did.
Police reports say they other children were found in filthy conditions with stains of unknown origin in their beds. The children said they were vomit stains and their stomachs hurt. All were seen at the hospital. The older siblings were OK, but the 2 yr old was diagnosed with an upper respiratory virus.
Right now, the three children are in foster care and the parents are fighting to get them back.
Some in the anti-vaccinator community reportedly used the police video to say the government was stealing unvaccinated children to sell to foster homes. They said there was a demand for non vaccinated kids because they were "so healthy". This of course is completely false.
Arizona State Rep. Kelly Townsend, told the Republic "that these parents may have been targeted by the medical community because they hadn't vaccinated their children."She described the whole incident as "a complete miscarriage of justice and a shame to the State of Arizona."
Later she back tracked a bit and said she understood how the doctors wanted to be better safe than sorry, AND how a family might want to avoid a very expensive trip to the ER.
The whole thing is a touch point in the argument for parents having control of the health of their children vs. the state or society stepping in to take over if needed. It's a difficult question that won't be settled soon.