American Idol Alum Syesha Mercado Loses Custody of 2nd Child Just 5 Months After Her 1st: 'Legally Kidnapped'
American Idol alum Syesha Mercado and partner Tyron Deener have lost custody of their newborn daughter following a roadside safety check in Florida on Wednesday.
This news comes just five months after her 18-month-old son Amen'Ra was — in her words — "forcefully and legally kidnapped" by the Florida Department of Children and Families on March 11.
Deener and Mercado recorded this week's police encounter on Instagram, writing: "THEY TOOK OUR BABY AGAIN!"
In the video of their interaction with Manatee County sheriff's deputies, the couple receives 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 Tuesday.
"My baby is days old, and you're taking my baby away from me. You have no heart. This is so wrong," Mercado can be heard saying in the video.
The traffic stop was reportedly a surprise to the couple, as they had asked that all casework be handled through their lawyers, The Root reported.
The child remains in state protection following an August 12 court hearing, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The 34-year-old singer claims she had previously taken her son Ra to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in Florida for fluids while transitioning from breastfeeding to the bottle due to her pregnancy when Child Protective Services took the boy.
"On March 11th, our sun 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," states Mercado's GoFundMe page. "We never refused a B12 shot, and at no point was he on the verge of death."
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
Mercado also insists her children are prime examples of racial discrimination in Manatee County.
"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," reads her GoFundMe, which was initially created to help bring her son Ra home.
"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 fundraiser continues.
The Florida Department of Children and Families did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. A representative for Mercado also did not respond to PEOPLE.
Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital provided PEOPLE with the following statement.
"Our first priority at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital is always the safety and privacy of our patients and their families. Therefore, we strictly follow privacy laws that limit the amount of information we can release regarding this particular case. However, we can say that our first responsibility is always to the child brought to us for care, and we are legally obligated to notify the Department of Children and Families (DCF) when we detect signs of possible abuse or neglect. It is DCF that investigates the situation and makes the ultimate decision about what course of action is in the best interests of the child."
Mercado's GoFundMe has raised over $250,000 as of this publication.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.