After the parents of a sick 2-year-old child refused a doctor’s recommendation late last month that they take their unvaccinated son to the emergency room for treatment for the boy’s 105 degree fever, he reportedly sicced a police swat team on them via the Arizona Department of Child Safety.
Shocking police surveillance footage released by the media this week shows Chandler Police Department officers busting down the parents’ front door and storming into their home as if they were taking down drug dealers or trying to apprehend armed fugitives. Except they were, in reality, looking for the 2-year-old because they incorrectly believed he was in danger.
According to Phoenix station KNXV, the unnamed parents took their sick boy to visit the unidentified naturopathic doctor on Feb. 25, only to be told they needed to take him to the ER at Cardon Children’s Hospital. But because the boy’s fever broke soon after the consultation, his parents just took him home because an ER visit would have cost an additional fortune.
When the doctor learned sometime later from Cardon Children’s Hospital that the boy had never been brought in for a checkup, he contacted the Arizona Department of Child Safety. They, in turn, contacted the local authorities, who in turn decided to raid the parents’ home like they were mobsters.
State congresswoman Kelly Townsend, a Republican, is not pleased.
“The doctor chose to use DCS to remove the child and DCS chose to use the police and the police chose to use the SWAT team, and that is not the country that I recognize,” she said to KNXV. “At that point, who now owns control over the child? It seems like we’ve now given that to the doctor, and the parent no longer has a say or they risk the SWAT team taking all of the children.”
She admitted though that she can see both sides of the story.
ABC News notes that local authorities first tried to contact the boy’s father, Brooks Bryce, via phone to request a welfare check. He refused. When they arrived at his home later that evening and demanded entry, he refused again. Because of concerns about a coughing child they could hear through the doors, they then breached the front door and took custody of the boy and his two siblings due to a “possible life-threatening illness.”
“After consultation with detectives from the Chandler Police Department’s Special Victims Unit, the residents were given a final opportunity to exit and take their child to the hospital,” a statement from the department reads. “Upon their failure to do so, the front door was breached and the family members were called out of the residence.”
Speaking with KPNX, Bryce didn’t dispute this account.
“They said, ‘Brooks, you have to come out of your house with your children right now. We have to check on them.’ But I said, “I have him in my arms right now. He’s doing fine. The temperature is 100 degrees. He’s sleeping. Could you please leave us alone?'”
He also explained the decision by him and his wife to not take their son to the ER.
“For me to take my healthy son to the emergency room would have cost $2,500. We don’t have $2,500 sitting around to take our healthy son to the hospital,” he said.
Local authorities have defended their decision to bust down Bryce’s door on the grounds that it was legally justified.
“In a statement to ABC News, Arizona DCS said … the removal of the child followed a state law passed in 2017 that requires DCS specialists to obtain a court order prior to removing a child from a home,” ABC News reported. “The law was amended last year to give law enforcement agencies who assist DCS to ‘use reasonable force to enter any building in which the person named in the removal authorization is reasonably believed to be,’ according to DCS.”
“We need to admit that this situation was a mistake,” Townsend said to KNXV. “There are other situations where there is neglect, there is abuse and that’s what we need to focus on.”
The parents agree.
In a statement to Fox News, their attorney, Nicholas Boca, argued that the use of force was excessive and “should be reserved for violent criminals, not a house filled with young, sleeping children.”
He added that the removal of his clients’ children “by busting in her door with guns drawn in the middle of the night was clearly unnecessary and well beyond ‘reasonable force.'”
He also noted that the parents have “a fundamental, Constitutionally protected right to the care, custody, and management of [their] Children. These rights do not evaporate simply because the Department of Child Safety believes they know better.”
According to ABC, all three kids are currently staying with their grandparents. Bryce and his wife hope to regain custody during a hearing next month.