Desperate Choice: Job Interview Or Leave Kids In Hot Car?
She's the woman whose tearful mug shot moved millions of people and touched off a firestorm of controversy.
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Shanesha Taylor couldn't fight back tears after she was arrested for leaving her two young sons in a baking-hot car for 45 minutes.
Now, she speaks out on the Today show about her decision to leave her sons, ages two and six months, alone in that car while she went on an interview for a job she desperately needed.
"It was a moment of desperation," Taylor said on the Today show. "It was me knowing my family was in crisis, and knowing that I had to make a choice between providing for my children or caring for my children."
While Taylor was being interviewed for a job at a Scottsdale, Arizona, insurance company, passersby in the parking lot saw the children alone inside the car, where temperatures had soared to 100 degrees. A call to 911 was made.
Operator: "911, what is your emergency?"
Caller: "There is a baby in a car by itself. It's like three or four months old. They have the window maybe an inch down. Baby's crying!"
Taylor was arrested on felony child abuse charges, and the nation reacted with both sympathy and disbelief over what she'd done.
INSIDE EDITION social media contributors weighed in.
Helen Little said, "She had a difficult decision to make. She had nowhere to keep her kids, and she needed a job so she had to do this interview."
Angie Grace said, "The car was hot, the children could have died in there, or the car could have been stolen with the children inside. It was very risky. She's lucky nothing bad happened to them."
Taylor is a single mom and her children were taken from her, but she hopes to get them back.
"I get to see them every weekend. We definitely have a lot of family time," she told the Today show.
Meanwhile, Taylor's plight triggered an online fundraising campaign that raised nearly $115,000 for her cause.
Prosecutors have now agreed to drop the charges provided she completes parenting and substance abuse programs and puts the fundraiser money toward trust funds for her children. All in all, she considers herself lucky.
"I think I've been treated fairly. The type of resolution I had, not many people get," she said.