fb-pixel Skip to main content

Across town, in Brookline, it was a different story

Nikysha Harding filed a complaint alleging that Boston police wrongfully reported her for possible child neglect after she accidentally locked her son in her car.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

I recently locked my keys in my car in Brookline, with my baby inside. Although my car was in the shade, it was warm. The air conditioning was not on.

I ran inside to get help, thinking someone at the party might know how to get the car open, and then ran back to the car, calling 911 as I ran. Within minutes, a fire truck arrived, and the responders had my car opened soon afterward.

Unlike in the case of Nikysha Harding (“Mother calls neglect report wrongful,” Metro, July 28), no one broke my window, called the EMTs, or took my daughter to a hospital, and no one reported me to the Department of Children and Families for neglect. I was shaken, but no one was as hard on me as I was on myself.


Any of us could make this same mistake, or another more dangerous one, at any time. God forbid children be harmed by anyone’s momentary lapse. Parents have a tough job; we need others’ support and kindness in difficult moments.

Police reported that Harding said, “If I were a white lady in Hyde Park, this would not happen.” I was a white lady in Brookline, and it did not happen to me.

Heidi Fessenden
Jamaica Plain