Shanesha Taylor update: Community divided over mom who left kids in car during job interview

PHOENIX - It’s a case that has left some outraged and others sympathetic.

Valley mom Shanesha Taylor is facing child abuse charges after leaving her kids in a hot car to go on a job interview.

More than 12,000 people have shown their support, signing a petition to ask Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to drop the charges. Her YouCaring.com funding page has raised more than $100,000.

According to a PR firm Nuage Communications, Taylor was supposed to speak at a news conference in front of the state capitol Tuesday, but her attorney stepped in advising her not to comment until the case is closed.

Those representing her say they fear Taylor’s situation is being exploited by politicians.

"Someone captured a moment in time of just agony and pain. Those weren’t tear drops, those were rivers,” said Rev. Jarrett Maupin who supports Taylor. "She was a desperate single mom in a very sad and all too familiar situation.”

The mug shot of her crying as she was being booked into jail tugged at the hearts of strangers.

"I’m the one who bailed her out of jail because I felt like this was an injustice,” said Joyce Vogt with Nuage Communications.

Police say Taylor’s two children were left in the car for nearly 40 minutes. The temperature inside the car was more than 100 degrees.

Taylor told police she was unemployed and didn’t have a babysitter. She said she really needed to go to the job interview.

Her attorney Benjamin Taylor blames the economy. “If you understand the economic situations of America, this is a unique situation. She wasn’t at a bar; she was going in for a job interview," said Taylor.

It's a unique situation that’s caught the eye of Arizona democrats who say they’ve been fighting the majority to get funding for preventative care services that would provide day care to low income families.

“She is illustrative of why we need this funding,” said State Senator Kate Hobbs, (D) Dist. 24.

But others feel that Shanesha is just being used.

“You have Senator Katie Hobbs and candidate Paula Pennypacker pimping the plight of a poor black mom in a desperate situation for political gain,” said Maupin.

"What was a ploy for political gain? Is he accusing me of that? That’s ridiculous,” said Hobbs.

Rev. Maupin says this issue isn’t just about Taylor being African American, it’s also about her gender, socioeconomic status, and being a single mom.

Taylor does have a history with CPS. We’re told she tested positive for drugs during the pregnancy of her youngest son. But the child tested negative for drugs when he was born.

Taylor and her attorneys have a meeting with Bill Montgomery Friday to discuss the charges against her.

She has pleaded not guilty in the case.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s office released a statement saying, "We appreciate citizens' rights to express their views on this case but the county attorney does not mix prosecution decisions with public opinion. We have no further comment while the case is pending."

Two private day care companies provide daycare assistance to parents who need to go to a job interview.

Sunrise Preschools of Arizona offers up to four house of free day care. They have 23 locations.

Tots Unlimited will also help parents out with two hours of free day care. They have limited space and recommend that you call at least three days in advance. They have three locations in the Valley.

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