Homeless single mom jailed for leaving 2 kids in car, but I don't blame her
It's happened again: A mom was arrested for carelessly leaving her two alone kids in a hot car. Only this time it's different: Shanesha Taylor was arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona for leaving her two babies--a 6-month-old and a 2-year-old--inside her Dodge Durango while she went to take care of her business. Why is it different this time though? And why do I think the mom is not to blame in this case? Read on.
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Taylor is a struggling mom who is homeless. On Thursday, March 27, when she was arrested she was actually coming back from a job interview. Passersby reported seeing a crying baby alone with another child in a car and did what was right: reported it. I mean, they didn't know the mom wasn't just shopping or just leisurely going about her business while her kids sat in a hot car. Taylor returned from her job interview 45 minutes later and found the cops surrounding her car. She was arrested and has been charged with two counts of felony child endangerment.
Now, I'm not excusing Taylor for leaving the kids in the car. We all know this is dangerous and potentially fatal to kids, especially two as young as Taylor's. But I can see the desperate situation she was in and how she could have felt like she had no other recourse. She was interviewing for a job to be able to provide for the kids. I wish she would have sought out childcare somehow, but that's easier said than done, I'm sure, for a homeless struggling single mom. Now she's got no chance of even getting that job she was interviewing for. And her kids were taken away and are in the custody of authorities. Sad, sad, sad. Like Scottsdale Police Sergeant Mark Clark told a local TV station: "This is just a sad situation all around."
The story has so far touched many people, including 24-year-old Amanda Bishop who set up a fundraising page online for her legal defense, childcare expenses, and more. "It's an economy like ours [that] is putting many single mothers in a position to make terrible mistakes like this," she wrote. Up to today, the page has collected more than $50,000, far exceeding its goal of $9,000. Wow!
Seeing Taylor's mug shot above breaks my heart. You can see the desperation and sadness in her eyes and those tears. It's a hopeless place to be, I'm sure. I know she didn't mean to harm her kids, she was trying to do good by them, like any of us moms would, but the laws are the laws. I'm glad the kids are okay. And it makes me happy to see so many reach out to try to help out.
Image via Youcaring.com
Do you think this mom should be punished?