A single Arizona mother of two, has just pleaded not guilty in Maricopa County Superior Court to charges of child abuse on Monday, April 7. Shanesha Taylor’s story is one that seems to resonate with so many others, struggling during these hard economic times. She is homeless, unemployed and raising her kids on food stamps. Ultimately, Taylor was faced with making a tough decision on March 20, 2014: either skip a much needed job interview or attend and leave her children in the family’s Dodge Durango. Now, that choice has become the subject of much controversy. Shanesha, who left her children in a very hot car without supervision has been receiving both disdain for her actions and, believe it or not, over $90,000 in donations from sympathetic supporters who may understand the plight of this young mother (see video below.)
About one month ago, a glimmer of hope shone through a darkened window of discouragement for the 35-year-old single mom. She was called in for an interview at an insurance agency. Unfortunately, Taylor could find no one to watch over her kids. Thinking that a job could provide a way out of unemployment and homelessness, she put her 2-year-old and 6-month-old children into the backseat of their Dodge Durango and drove to the interview in Scottsdale, AZ. When she arrived, Shanesha Taylor left her two children buckled in the backseat, while she spent an hour inside the office building. Although, Taylor left keys in the ignition, the air conditioning was not running.
A short while later, a witness who heard the children crying called the authorities. Local firefighters arrived on the scene and discovered that, although the windows had been rolled down slightly, the car had reached a temperature of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Both children were described as sweating and experiencing discomfort. After the arrest on charges stemming from the incident, a released mug shot of the tearful mom has since stirred emotions amongst followers of the case. It seems this mother of two, who left her children in a hot car has both suffered disdain and received support on a national level.
Shanesha Taylor’s decision to leave her children in a 100 degree car has not surprisingly incurred anger and outrage. However, a very different and perhaps unexpected point of view has emerged. Enter Amanda Bishop. She is a 24-year-old woman from New Jersey who was apparently touched by Taylor’s story: “I had a mother and family in general who struggled raising us and had to rely on other resources to provide for us and sometimes made not the greatest choices.”
Bishop had set up a website in hopes of raising a goal of $9,000 for the down and out single mom. To her shock, the site has, so far, received donations amounting to $91,000. However, this is aside from a slew of critical comments, accusing Bishop for rewarding someone who allegedly may have committed child abuse. According to Bishop, Taylor is a woman who is simply trying to provide for her children as opposed to neglecting them.
It is not clear how this case will end up, however County Attorney Bill Montgomery weighed in by saying that this case is a “very compelling human interest story.” Although, he added that he harbors concern over “the circumstances those two children were in.” Furthermore, he continued to say that it is too soon to tell whether or not Taylor will face prison time or lose custody of her kids. For, now this mother of two who had left her children in a hot car for over an hour will continue to be the subject of both disdain and support from a nationwide audience.
By Josh Taub