Baltimore Sun

Council committee to hold hearing on squeegee workers

- By Lee O. Sanderlin

A Baltimore City Council committee will meet Wednesday afternoon with law enforcemen­t agencies and members of Mayor Brandon Scott’s administra­tion to hold a hearing on what city officials have dubbed the “squeegee issue.”

The Public Safety and Government Operations

Committee scheduled the hearing for 1 p.m. at City Hall. Squeegee workers, usually Black teens, are a mainstay of some of downtown Baltimore’s busiest street corners, offering to clean motorists’ windshield­s for a few bucks.

Some business and political leaders consider squeegee workers a nuisance at best and a threat to public safety at worst. Most people working intersecti­ons as squeegee workers are teens and children trying to survive and not a threat. Many of the workers need money to provide for younger siblings or their own children.

But political tensions around squeegeein­g came to a head earlier this month when Timothy Reynolds, a white, 48-year-old Hampden man, got out of his car with a baseball bat at the intersecti­ons of Light and Conway streets to confront a group of squeegee workers.

The workers and Reynolds got into an altercatio­n that ended when one of them fatally shot Reynolds. Baltimore Police arrested a 15-year-old boy and charged him with first-degree murder for the shooting.

The shooting sent the debate over squeegee work into a fever pitch, bringing the racial undertones of the matter to the forefront.

In addition to City Council, Wednesday’s hearing will feature testimony from the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, the Baltimore Police Department, the Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborho­od

Safety and Engagement, the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success, the Mayor’s Office of African-American Male Engagement, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Developmen­t and the Baltimore City Joint Apprentice­ship Program.

Members of the public interested in participat­ing may attend the meeting in person or online.

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