“American Idol” star Syesha Mercado is fighting the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office after they seized her newborn baby daughter in a harrowing moment caught in a now-viral video. This is the second child that authorities have taken from the Florida native, who finished third during the seventh season of the long-running TV singing competition.
On Wednesday morning, Manatee County deputies reportedly surrounded a car that Mercado, her 10-day-old baby and her partner, Tyron Deener, were driving in, according to the Herald Tribune. Police then took custody of the 10-day-old newborn to bring her to a hospital.
Deener posted the incident that occurred near Whitfield Drive and Lockwood Ridge Road on Instagram Live. The hour-long footage, which had over 1.5 million views as of Friday night, shows a few police vehicles flashing their lights while two deputies give the couple a court order to turn over the baby for a physical at the hospital.
Mercado and Deener explain to the sheriffs that their daughter had already been seen by physicians just a day prior. The pair also state they were on their way with the newborn to the sheriff’s office, but they were told no one was available to see them.
“She’s not even a month old,” Mercado can be heard saying in the emotional clip before starting to cry. “You are traumatizing my baby. How could you guys do this? Do you not feel anything? You’re taking my baby away from me. You have no heart. This is so wrong. I have the key to this city. I’ll hold it together. I’m strong.”
She was indeed gifted a key to the city of Sarasota during her “American Idol” hometown tour on May 9, 2008, which was proclaimed “Syesha Mercado Day.” She went on to finish behind David Archuleta and that seaon’s winner, David Cook.
Her infant is still in protective custody, according to activist Donisha Prendergast, who is advocating for the couple, local outlets reported.
Meanwhile, Mercado and Deener’s 15-month-old son, Amen’Ra, was placed into foster care more than three months ago after Mercado’s breast milk supply started to run dry, and the boy would not accept other fluids, FOX Tampa Bay reported. The couple has been working hard to get him back after he was taken over allegations of malnutrition, according to Mercado’s social media posts.
They took Amen’Ra to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg on Feb. 26. Almost two weeks later, the St. Petersburg police removed Mercado and Deener from the hospital for trespassing. Their son was discharged in late March and was transferred to foster care.
The pair created a GoFundMe, entitled “The Legalized Kidnapping of Black Babies Through CPS.” About $250,000 has been raised of their $200,000 goal to cover legal bills.
“I am a 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’s page description read. “On March 11 … 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.”
Reps for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
However, local cops told the Herald Tribune that medical staff reported Mercado and Deener for turning down a B-12 intramuscular shot, as recommended by the hospital, a claim that she vehemently denies.
“We never refused a B12 shot, and at no point was he on the verge of death,” Mercado said in her video statement. “Our Sun 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.”
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