Syesha Mercado lost custody of her 10-day old baby on Wednesday after a roadside check in Florida.
This development took place just five months after her 18-month-old son Amen’Ra was — in the former American Idol finalist’s words — “forcefully and legally kidnapped” by the Florida Department of Children and Families on March 11.
As a result, this troubling story has gone national and viral.
Mercado and boyfriendd Tyron Deener recorded this week’s police encounter on Instagram, writing as a caption to the footage: “THEY TOOK OUR BABY AGAIN!”
In a video of their interaction with Manatee County sheriff’s deputies, the couple gets handed a court order to turn over the then-10-day-old baby for a hospital checkup ….
… despite their claims they have paperwork proving she had just gone on a day before.
“My baby is days old, and you’re taking my baby away from me. You have no heart. This is so wrong,” says Mercado to an officer.
Mercado was a contestant on season 7 of American Idol in 2008, placing third to David Cook and David Archuleta.
Her very young little girl remains in state protection following an August 12 court hearing, according to the Miami Herald-Tribune.
The 34-year-old said she previously took her year-and-a-half year old to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida for fluids while transitioning from breastfeeding to the bottle due to her pregnancy.
At the time, just a few weeks ago, Child Protective Services took the boy.
“On March 11th, our sun [sic] Amen’Ra was forcefully and legally kidnapped from us by CPS, who claim we refused a B12 shot that was a matter of life and death, which is an absolute lie,” reads Mercado’s GoFundMe page.
“We never refused a B12 shot, and at no point was he on the verge of death.”
The artist also claims her kids are prime examples of racial discrimination in Manatee County.
Continues the aforementioned GoFundMe page, which was created to bring Syesha’s oldest child home:
“Our Sun [sic] 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 our sun, with no court order stating these visitation limitations.”
Concludes the page, which has thus far raised $250,000:
The racial discrimination that our community is facing right now is focused on Police Brutality because of the visibility and documentation.
But we don’t think about the other forms of systematic oppression that come as a sub-set.
In particular, the Victimization of our children through the Foster Care System.
They become the forgotten ones, falling through the cracks because mothers and fathers are too afraid to take on the gigantic task of standing up to a way of thinking and laws that are steeped in colonial times.
Parents are coerced to sign plans and documents under mental duress, essentially signing away their rights to a system that doesn’t love or understand us.
The Florida Department of Children and Families has not yet commented on this situation.