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Baltimore police charge squeegee worker with first degree murder, pledge public safety plan

Bethany Raja
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott.

A 15-year-old squeegee boy was arrested and charged as an adult with first-degree murder for the July 7 homicide of 48-year-old Timothy Reynolds, who confronted squeegee workers with a metal baseball bat.

Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, said it was good detective work that led police to the suspect at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

“We developed enough evidence that warranted probable cause,” Harrison said.

The arrest was made after several community members came forward with information about the alleged shooter.

When the shooting occurred, Harrison said the suspect was 14-years-old.

“It really is a total community effort that allowed the police department to go forward and make this arrest this fast,” he said.

For decades Baltimore’s youth have stood on corners to squeegee car windshields for money. Despite programs to hire young adults for city jobs, many see this as their only option to survive.

Mayor Brandon Scott said as the press conference was happening, city officials were meeting with a federal judge to discuss enforcement issues and strategies to clean up Baltimore’s streets.

“To say it simply, I will not do what was done to me,” he said. “We will not kick the can down the road. It will require us to have difficult conversations. Extremely difficult conversations over a diverse set of voices who all care about the city. That is what today represents.”

The goal is not to order police to sweep the intersections and push squeegee workers away. In 2017, the Baltimore city police department agreed to a consent decree with the Department of Justice to stop systematically violating civil rights.

The police department promised to prevent discriminatory policing, use of excessive force and focus on community-centric policing.

“We have to grow out of that, and understand that we will hold people accountable for their actions, but we will not go back to re-criminalizing just being Black in Baltimore. Period,” he said.

Bethany Raja is WYPR's City Hall Reporter
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