Rachel Bruno, the mother at the center of a civil rights battle in Orange County, California, has been awarded another big settlement against social services and Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) after they took her 20-month-old son and ran unauthorized medical tests on him and injected him with a dozen vaccinations at the same time. Bruno was just given a half-million-dollar settlement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for their role in violating her Fourth Amendment rights of due process by carrying out an unwarranted seizure of her 20-month-old son, David.
This award will be given for the damage social workers and hospital staff did to the Brunos’ civil rights by ordering tests on David without valid warrants or parental consent. The medical tests were to determine if he was sexually abused, even though there were no allegations that abuse occurred. An invasive test was performed on him at CHOC, along with a full skeletal x-ray for which he had to be forcibly held down. David was seized without a warrant from his parents while his newborn brother Lucas was in the hospital for a head injury that was under investigation by the county. Child services suspected that Lucas’s injury was from abuse, and although the mother and nanny were the only two in the home when the injury occurred, child services blamed Bruno and only questioned the nanny once before letting her go. No evidence was ever found that anyone had harmed the newborn intentionally and the state’s attorney declined to prosecute.
Bruno, however, was terrorized by social services anyway, ordered to move out of her home and have only one hour a day supervised visitation with her children while she took court-ordered child abuse classes. Despite the absence of evidence of a crime, Bruno was treated as a child-abusing criminal by the juvenile court system of Orange County. After agreeing to do everything social services told her to do, she was reunited with her family after forty days. She quickly moved to sue everyone involved for civil rights violations. Shawn MacMillan, one of the only civil rights attorneys actively suing child welfare bureaucracies in California, took up her cause.
One of the most shocking revelations in the Bruno case is the fact that the Orange County CPS caseworkers used an outdated general warrant to order the medical testing, which was dated 2008, seven years before the tests were performed. The county offered no explanation, time travel or otherwise, to account for how they got a warrant signed in 2008 for an incident that occurred in 2015.
This warrant from the distant past was used to do invasive medical procedures on a traumatized baby who had been ripped from his family just hours before. David’s pediatrician was also not contacted by Orange County Social Services before they vaccinated him to “catch up” to the current schedule. David had been vaccinated according to his pediatrician’s recommendations at a slower pace because of a troubling reaction to Prevnar. At the physician’s direction, his vaccination schedule had been altered to slow it down to avoid more reactions. Orange County Social Services vaccinated him with seven shots containing twelve viruses at once, disregarding his medical history and without parental consent.
“By the grace of God, David is okay,” Bruno told PJ Media. But the psychological damage he suffered from the unlawful separation and time in a foster group home lingered. “It took a while for him to stop rejecting me,” said Bruno. “He believed I had left him.” Bruno is now reunited with her family and the baby has recovered from his head injury, which remains unexplained.
Bruno has posted her attorney’s depositions where he interrogates the police officer and social worker involved in this case of clear constitutional violations. They are more compelling than any hit reality series. Here is Detective Perez, who ordered the seizure of the children, admitting, “I did a warrantless seizure,” which she knows is illegal based on her training.
If you had any question about the intelligence or honesty of social workers, take a gander at the deposition of Laura Todd, the social worker who made the Brunos’ lives a living hell.
One thing is clear. This country needs more Shawn MacMillans who are willing to fight through our courts to demand those in power over American families adhere to the Constitution, which is not a list of suggestions but guarantees. And when they do deny rights to Americans, it should cost them wheelbarrows full of cash.