Syesha Mercado says her newborn was “forcefully and legally kidnapped” by police. According to the former American Idol contestant. authorities snatched her second baby from her with no justification. Mercado, who finished third in the seventh season of the singing competition, posted a now-viral video of the altercation with cops.
Officers from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office seized her daughter, just five months after the 34-year-old Florida native lost her first child in the same way. In the video, deputies surrounded Syesha Mercado and her partner, Tyron Deener, while they were waiting in their SUV Wednesday. The couple was driving to their scheduled welfare check, the Miami-Herald Tribune reported.
Police officers took the 10-day-old baby into custody and brought her to a hospital where she underwent a physical examination. The sheriff’s office presumably took the baby because of previous allegations that Syesha Mercado neglected her 15-month-old son and that the child was malnourished.
The harrowing hour-long video, which depicts a mother’s worst nightmare, showed the moment cops took the child away. Mercado captioned the video: “THEY TOOK OUR BABY AGAIN.” It has since garnered nearly two million views and has thousands of comments with people sharing support for the hurting mother.
“Do you not feel anything?” Syesha Mercado can be heard screaming at the officers. “You guys, I’m human. This is my baby. My baby is days old — and you’re taking my baby away from me.” The two male deputies seen in the video served the couple a court order giving the officers the legal right to take the baby. Mercado deemed it “legal kidnapping.”
“You are traumatizing my [child],” she told the deputies. “How could you guys do this?” She screamed at the officers as her daughter was taken from her.
“You have no heart,” she told them. “This is so wrong. I have the key to this city. I’ll hold it together. I’m strong.” She explained to the officers that she had just taken her daughter for a physical the day before. She said that she and Deener were driving to their scheduled welfare check when they were intercepted.
Syesha Mercado has become semi-famous since her stint on American Idol. The singer starred in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon in 2014. She has a decent-sized following on social media, including 131,000 followers on Instagram. As she said in the video, Mercado was gifted the key to the city of Sarasota, Fla. while visiting her hometown during Season 7 of American Idol. The ceremony was held on May 9, 2008. She even had the day named after her: “Syesha Mercado Day.”
More than a decade later, Mercado lost her 15-month-old son, Amen’Ra, because he was allegedly malnourished. Mercado’s breast milk supply had reportedly run dry and Amen’Ra would not accept other fluids. He was then placed into the system and has not returned to his mother or father. Mercado has since tried everything in her power to get her son back.
In an attempt to secure legal fees for the fight, Syesha Mercado started a GoFundMe. She named the fundraiser: “The Legalized Kidnapping of Black Babies Through CPS.” The GoFundMe page raised nearly $300,000, surpassing its $200,000 goal.
“I am pregnant, breastfeeding mama who went to the hospital with the intention to get my [son], Amen’Ra, some fluids while transitioning from extended breastfeeding to being bottle-fed,” Mercado wrote on the GoFundMe page that has since been closed. “On March 11 … Amen’Ra was forcefully and legally kidnapped from us by CPS, who claim we refused a B-12 shot that was a matter of life and death, which is an absolute lie.”
“We never refused a B-12 shot, and at no point was he on the verge of death,” Mercado said on social media before Wednesday’s harrowing incident. “Our [son] has since been placed with a white foster family without interviewing qualified relatives or friends of our family for placement while they investigate. We are given limited information and presently only have weekly zoom visitation for an hour with … no court order stating these visitation limitations.”
It’s not clear how long the police will keep Mercado’s two children. While the officers’ actions were legal due to the court order, fans of the singer are horrified and want to know why they did it. Based on the previous malnutrition charge, police had reason to believe the second child, which was born only two weeks ago, could be malnourished also. Police and the court might have decided it was in the baby’s best interest to check it. Mercado is still fighting to win her babies back.