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Shanesha Taylor...her heart broken
Shanesha Taylor, a homeless woman living in Scottsdale, Arizona, allegedly left her two children, ages two and six months, in a car for at least 45 minutes while she completed a job interview. She's now been arrested for felony child abuse and her children taken away.

I first saw this on Think Progress, and it has also made the Smoking Gun.

It is also covered in various Arizona papers, here  and here.

The basics of the story are that Ms. Taylor is homeless with two children and currently unemployed. When she received a call for a job interview last Thursday, lacking other alternatives, she left her two children in her car with the windows cracked while she completed the interview. Someone heard the children crying and called the police, with Ms. Taylor arriving at her car 45 minutes after the police did. Ms. Taylor was arrested on two counts of felony child abuse and her children removed to Child Protective Services. She is currently in jail and her children will likely be placed in foster care.

I think her mug shot above says all that needs to be said on how Ms. Taylor feels about losing her children.

While the vast majority of comments on Think Progress and the Smoking Gun were sympathetic and were able draw the rightful conclusion that the poor make poor choices because there are essentially no good alternatives to be had, I'm sure Ms. Taylor will be excoriated by conservatives for: 1) choosing to be homeless in the first place, 2) choosing to not have a job, 3) driving an SUV when she could have spent that money on child care...the potential list is endless. The game is to blame someone who is in fact a victim herself, while extracting the maximum penalty from her and society (since we will be paying for her incarceration and the care of her children while she is in the system), all while enriching themselves through yet another poor/black/POC/single mother added to the prison industrial complex.

It serves absolutely no purpose to criminalize this woman...yes, she made an error in judgement, one she almost certainly knew she was making, but a choice she felt she had no other recourse but to make. It will be very easy for many to say what she should have done, but unless they've been in her specific situation, it's all speculation...the brutal, baseless form of judgement that the world seems to specialize in these days. She did not get the job, of course, and is now looking at prison time, with her children most likely taken away for a significant period of time.

There is a fund set up for her here.

8:08 PM PT: I just wanted to include some additional information, since it seems that some are interpreting this diary as call to not hold Ms. Taylor accountable in any manner.

The hourly temperature breakdown for Phoenix on March 20, 2014, shows it at 68 degrees at 11 am, 71 degrees at 12, 75 degrees at 1 pm, and 78 degrees at 2 pm.  

8:57 PM PT: A petition calling for leniency for Ms. Taylor can be found here:

Originally posted to maregug on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for the Homeless Person and Black Kos community.

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