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Arizona police released body camera footage that showed officers attempting to get the father of a toddler with a high fever — whose doctor directed be taken to a hospital — to come outside multiple times before breaking down the front door of the family's home with guns drawn.
Sarah Beck brought her 2-year-old son to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine on Feb. 25 and was told he had a temperature of more than 105, according to reports by the Chandler Police Department.
Police were contacted after a doctor reported to the Department of Child Services that the child never made it to the hospital, as she had recommended, and she feared the child could be suffering from a "life-threatening" illness that could not be tested for at the clinic.
When police arrived, Beck and her husband, Brooks Bryce, wouldn't let them into the house because they said the fever had broken and the child was no longer in danger.
Body camera footage released Thursday shows officers of the Chandler Police Department knocking on the door, identifying themselves and asking for someone to come to the door three times until forcing entry into the home.
An officer first began to knock at about 10:43 p.m., then called Beck and Bryce at home. After a second attempt at the door and a second call, the officer managed to speak to Bryce on the phone.
"He's doing fine. His fever broke, he's under 100 degrees, and he's doing just fine," Bryce said.
When the officer told Bryce that officers need to see the boy for themselves, Bryce responds, "no you don't." Bryce then refused to come outside and the officer tried once again to get the father to come to the door.
During the time the officers were attempting to speak to Bryce, DCS obtained a court order for the temporary custody of the two-year-old child.
"Like I said, here are your options," the officer in the video said. "You can either come out here or talk to us so we can figure out how we're going to get your kid to the hospital, or DCS is going to take temporary custody of your kids."
Bryce once again refused over the phone to let officers into the home and said, "you're not going to make me go to the hospital and spend three grand on an emergency room visit right now."
Chandler officers then warned Bryce if he did not answer police officers, the door would be broken down. Almost three hours after the first knock on the door, officers forced their way in with guns out and ready to fire.
A lawyer for Beck said in a statement to NBC News on Thursday that the way in which the children were removed "was clearly unnecessary and well beyond 'reasonable force.'"
The statement continued that Beck "has a fundamental, Constitutionally protected right to the care, custody, and management of her Children. These rights do not evaporate simply because the Department of Child Safety believes they know better."
The police report said that when officers entered the house, two other children were found "in their bedroom, which was covered in stains of unknown origin."
The Department of Child Safety said it could not comment on specific cases, but described the incident as standard practice.
"Two years ago, the DCS supported a law to require DCS specialists to obtain a court order prior to removing a child from their home," the agency said in a statement.
A recently passed amendment gave law enforcement agencies assisting DCS authority to “use reasonable force to enter any building in which the person named in the removal authorization is or is reasonably believed to be," a DCS statement said.