Authorities in the U.S. have condemned the use of armed police officers to check on an unvaccinated child with a high fever.
Shocking home surveillance footage shows the police kick down the front door of a home with guns and riot shields drawn.
The two-year-old at the centre of the debacle had earlier been taken to a naturopathic doctor by his mother after the tot’s temperature rocketed.
“The doctor chose to use DCS (Department of Child Safety) to remove the child and DCS chose to use the police … and that is not the country that I recognize,” Arizona State Representative Kelly Townsend said.
The naturopath recommended the child be taken to the hospital for further checks because a lack of vaccination and a high fever could mean the risk of potentially fatal meningitis.
But when mother and child did not show up at the hospital because the mother believed the toddler was well again, child services became involved.
“The case worker called police and said we need to do a welfare check,” Dianna Nanez, a reporter with the Arizona Republic, told CTV News Channel.
The case worker met police at the home, but when the parents refused to let them in, telling them the child was fine, police got a search warrant to enter the property.
As a result, the child and two siblings were taken into the custody of Arizona DCS.
“They checked on the first child and that child they immediately took,” Nanez said.
“The other two children the case worker interviewed without their parents present and said we also need to take these two children, so the case worker then got warrants to remove those two children as well and took them for medical care.”
According to CNN, the parents have each been charged with one count of child abuse.
Police said they were told by state case workers that they had a warrant to remove the child with a fever for medical care.
“The parents were not allowing them in and for the safety of the child, after consulting with DCS and consulting with their SWAT team they decided this was the only way they could get in to see the children,” Nanez said.