American Idol alum Syesha Mercado has had a baby taken from her by authorities for the second time.
In case you didn’t know, her 15-month-old son Amen’Ra was placed into foster care by the Florida Department of Children and Families services in March after the couple went to the hospital for extra fluids. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Mercado was transitioning from breastfeeding to the bottle at the time since her milk supply started to run out during her second pregnancy. However, armed officers soon removed her son after doctors claimed the child was malnourished. And now her newborn daughter has been forcibly removed from her care in a similar way…
On Wednesday, the 34-year-old singer shared an hour-long Instagram video, showing Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies demanding that she and her partner Tyron Deener hand over their 10-day-old child during a surprise roadside welfare check. In the footage, authorities presented the couple with a court order requiring them to take the little one away for a hospital check-up. They claimed that Mercado never alerted officials that she had given birth during her legal battle. However, the parents claimed they already had paperwork proving she went to the doctors and was deemed healthy. The Book of Mormon alum also reportedly referred the child protective services case management team to her attorney to schedule a welfare visit.
Still, despite having the proper documents required by the courts, the police decided to remove the baby until further notice. The momma immediately burst into tears in the video, pleading with the officers:
“You are traumatizing my baby! How could you guys do this? Do you not feel anything? My baby is days old and you’re taking my baby away from me. You’re taking my baby away from me. You have no heart. This is so wrong.”
You can take look at the entire heartbreaking video for yourself (below):
The emotional clip has since sparked outrage on social media, with many people accusing the county of racial discrimination. In a GoFundMe page set up to “Bring Ra Home,” Mercado echoed similar sentiments, saying:
“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.”
According to the fundraiser, authorities claimed she refused a B12 shot “that was a matter of life and death” for her son. Mercado alleged that it was an “absolute lie,” noting the parents never declined the shot and “at no point was he on the verge of death.” Since then, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office told TMZ in a statement:
“We understand that from the outside looking in The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Child Protection Investigation Division’s actions may seem uncaring, but let me assure you we have the best interest of children and families in mind at all times.”
The department went on to say that they follow numerous laws “ to ensure we do not lose focus when dealing with vulnerable families” before adding:
“The last thing anyone in this business wants to do is shelter children from their parents, but sometimes it is the only direction we are forced to take. By law, we always attempt to shelter children with another family member prior to any other placement. When not possible, we attempt to shelter with a non-relative known to the family, and as a last resort we shelter with other resources.”
When “the need arises” to shelter kiddos, the department stated that the families are provided “guidance” on how to eventually reunite with their children.
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[Image via Nikki Nelson/ WENN]