'American Idol’ star Syesha Mercado forcefully separated from her ten-day-old baby by police
According to Syesha Mercado, this is her second child that has been 'forcefully and legally kidnapped' by the authorities within the past six months
The ten-day-old baby of ‘American Idol’ star Syesha Mercado has been taken away from her forcefully by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in a harrowing moment captured in a now-viral video. According to Mercado, this is her second child that has been “forcefully and legally kidnapped” by the authorities within the past six months. This happened months after the ‘Broadway’ performer and her partner, Tyron Deener’s 15-month-old son, Amen'Ra, was taken away from them and placed into foster care earlier this year.
On Wednesday, August 11, while Mercado and Deener — both Black — were driving with their daughter in their SUV, they were stopped by the deputies to conduct a roadside welfare check. The officers then took away the toddler from them to bring her to a hospital for reportedly a physical checkup. The devastated parents shared an hour-long video of the incident that took place near Whitfield Drive and Lockwood Ridge Road on Instagram with a caption that read, “THEY TOOK OUR BABY AGAIN!” The video, which showed several police vehicles flashing lights while two officers presented a court order to the pair, soon went viral with more than 170,000,000 views.
Why were Syesha Mercado's kids taken away?
The social media video showed Mercado and Deener sitting in their car while the former cradled the baby. When deputies approached them, they told them they would like to take the little one to the hospital. The couple also added that a doctor had just checked their child and deemed her perfectly fine. But they did not listen to Mercado and Deener and insisted on taking the baby with them.
“My baby is days old, and you're taking my baby away from me. You have no heart. This is so wrong,” the 34-year-old model can be heard saying in the clip. She added: “All you had to do was call the attorney. We have all the paperwork. You guys have created so much trauma. You just expect me to come outside and be like, hi, guys, you're my friends. You're not my friends.”
The latest issue arose as Mercado and Deener are fighting legally to get back their son from the child protective services agency of Manatee County in Florida. Their firstborn was taken away from them after they took him to a hospital for help as they struggled to get him to accept fluids. The parents wanted the child to have fluids since Mercado’s breast milk supply began to run out after she conceived for the second time. But Mercado and Deener were accused of malnutrition by the authorities, who removed the toddler from his parents.
Meanwhile, several have criticized the authorities for removing Mercado’s kids from her. Dana Sussman, the deputy executive director at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, said: “This system is rooted in our country's history of slavery and regulating the reproduction of Black mothers and Black families. It is rooted in the country's belief they can judge who and when people can become parents ... and it's inextricably linked with the racist systems of policing, violence, and poverty.”
Sussman added, “If that mom gets pregnant again, the fetus essentially is already in the system to then be evaluated and the family to be surveilled. What I saw was that sort of suspicion ... continuing with [Mercado's] family. They've already been through so much. ... It's just another traumatic interaction with the system.”
A number of people also sympathize with Mercado and Deener while showing their anger at the authorities in the comment section of the Instagram video. A user wrote, “They are doing everything to break y'all and I pray for your strength…” Another one commented, “I really hate to see this. I am holding my breath. This family is clearly being targeted.” “Weird how they don’t help children in abusive homes but will more than willingly and repeatedly separated perfectly good families!!” the third user added.