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Mother arrested for leaving children in car, thousands petitioning for charges to be dropped

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Shanesha Taylor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KTLA) – A homeless mother in Arizona is now facing charges for child abuse after doing something many people believe was in an attempt to make a better life for her and her family.

A witness called police after hearing a child crying inside a car parked outside an office building.

When officers arrived, they found a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old inside the vehicle.

About 45 minutes later, authorities say the boys’ mother, 38-year-old Shanesha Taylor, came back to the car.

According to KTLA, she told police that she and the boys are homeless and she had no one to watch them when she went on a job interview.

Taylor was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and her children were placed in the care of Child Protective Services.

After learning about her story, strangers set up a donation website to pay for her legal fees.

The site’s goal was to raise $9,000 but has already raised $70,000.

Taylor’s supporters have also created a petition on, asking Maricopa County officials to drop the charges against her.

“Her desperation to provide for herself and her children and her lack of options led her to take drastic measures in search of employment,” said Mariame Kaba, the petition’s organizer. “Ms. Taylor needs support and help rather than incarceration and a criminal record that will surely decrease her chances to provide for her children in the future.”

Her arrest has sparked a debate online about the country’s justice system and help for the homeless.