Singer’s Arrest Caught on Video, Sparking Huge Controversy

Singer’s Arrest Caught on Video, Sparking Huge Controversy

A video of a traffic stop in Sunny Isles Beach that ended with a singer being handcuffed went viral last week. This singer, 32-year-old Cecilia Mercado, also known as Sessi, has over 195,000 Instagram followers.

At the time of the stop, police said Mercado refused to get out of her Audi Q5 and was driving with a counterfeit diplomatic license tag, according to Local 10. A Sunny Isles Beach police officer asked for the singer’s driver’s license, but she handed her passport instead, claiming “immunity.”

An officer asks her to step out of the vehicle in video footage captured by Mercado’s passenger. “Please bring your supervisor now, you’re reaching inside our vehicle, I feel threatened!” Scott Huss, identified as the passenger, shouts in the video.

“You’re reaching inside our vehicle, I feel threatened, I feel threatened, I feel threatened!” Huss yelled. “Get off of her right now, get off of her right now.” “They have no jurisdiction over you,” Huss added. “She is not a United States citizen, they have no jurisdiction.”

Huss continues to exchange heated words with cops, telling them they are “going to get fired from your job, and she is going to get $250,000.” Mercado is ripped out of the Audi after she refuses to comply.

She was then seen being put into cuffs, with the officers telling her if she only “complied,” things would not have escalated. “I did. I gave you my passport,” the singer said.

The police said Mercado later admitted to having a Florida driver’s license but did not respond to an officer’s question about why she had not admitted it before. Sunny Isles Beach police released a statement after the video of her arrest went viral, saying it did not capture the whole incident. “The female driver shown in the video was stopped by our officers for traffic violations. She then stated she had ‘immunity.’ She repeatedly refused to comply with officers’ orders and was placed in handcuffs,” the department said in a statement.

“When she presented her passport card, they said it was an unacceptable form of identification,” Huss told Local 10 News Wednesday. “Nothing should get to the point where somebody is dragging somebody out of vehicle for a wrong left turn.”

An arrest report noted that the plate was marked “diplomat” and “ambassador at large” and that it was “non-expiring.” A police report stated that, despite Mercado telling officers the vehicle was registered with the U.S. Department of State, an official with the Department of State confirmed that it was not a valid diplomatic tag.

In an interview outside the jail on March 13, Mercado confirmed she was a Bronx native and a “United States national.” She was released on a $2,500 bond. When asked about the fake plates, she responded that they were genuine.

“They are not fake. They are completely registered to my private trust and my private vehicle which, by law, I am allowed to have a vehicle under a trust,” the singer said. Charges have been filed against her for possessing a counterfeit license plate, registration, or sticker on her motor vehicle.

After leaving jail, Mercado stated on an Instagram live with Only in Dade that she is innocent, insisting that her diplomatic tag is authentic. “There goes my tag, right there,” she said to the camera as she held up a document in front of it. “It’s registered with the United States Department—look at that—DOT.” The document could not be verified, according to NBC 6.

On Tuesday, police stopped a Maybach driven by a man who had been on his way to pick up Mercado from jail shortly after she had been arrested for driving with a counterfeit tag in Sunny Isles Beach. A car with fake diplomatic plates picked up Mercado from jail on Wednesday – driven by her boyfriend, Andres Lopez-Escobar, according to the New York Post.

Upon pulling the car over, police had to break open the driver’s window after he refused to open it. Among the charges Lopez-Escobar, 22, faces are driving without a valid license, possessing a counterfeit license plate, motor vehicle registration, and resisting an officer without violence, reported the outlet.

Several guns were also pulled from the car, according to police. “They had guns to the car; I just got out of jail,” Mercado stated after her driver had been arrested. “This is not funny. This is messed up.”

Since the video went viral, Mercado has gained more fame in South Florida, with some supporting her while others criticizing her actions and supporting the police response. In the wake of the arrest of another of Mercado’s friends for allegedly driving a car with a counterfeit diplomatic license plate, the singer’s identity has been further questioned.

Bronx native Mercado was profiled by the New York media back in 2021. According to the The Bronx Times, she “was raised in Castle Hill by Eddi and Ivania Mercado. Her mom was an event coordinator and sang at festivals, and her father was a music producer. 

Her first taste of the limelight came at age 5 when she sang at a Puerto Rican Day festival. Additionally, the article notes that she comes from a “hard-working Cuban and Puerto Rican household” and made “the leap to Los Angeles at 19-years-old hoping to one day be a star.” Mercado described it as she had done “anything and everything to put myself out there. I really lived that artist struggle.”

Billboard named her among its “20 Latina Artists to Discover Before 2020 Ends” list in November 2020, alongside artists Maria Becerra and Lola Indigo. Sessi currently has 5.28K subscribers on YouTube and more than 600,000 views on her videos.

Mercado told her 195,000 Instagram followers that “false things” are being said about her and that she is a “good community girl,” according to the Daily Mail. “I will not give up and stand my ground too many things going on this world especially me, I have been such a community girl and so good to my community… not okay! I have family in NYC police department.”


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