More squeegees, more Baltimore shootings

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Officials estimate 100 squeegee kids regularly work at intersections citywide in Baltimore, dashing into the street as red lights hit to clean windshields in exchange for cash from drivers. <i>Julio Cortez/AP</i>

More squeegees, more Baltimore shootings

Baltimore is a city with a shooting problem. It is also a city with a squeegee problem. And, of course, it is a city with a squeegee shooting problem.

In July, 48-year-old Timothy Reynolds exited his car with a bat and confronted a group of squeegee workers. What exactly caused the incident isn’t clear, nor is it entirely clear what happened next. But according to prosecutors, three of the young workers surrounded Reynolds, one threw a rock, and one shot him five times as he was walking away. The one who shot Reynolds was 14 years old at the time, and his defense team says it was in self-defense.

It is a terrible situation, one way or another, and yet the city of Baltimore has repeatedly found a way to make it worse. Aside from not taking steps to address the squeegeeing beforehand, the city has now gone behind the back of Reynolds’s family to reach a plea deal with the shooter, dropping his charge from first-degree murder to manslaughter and moving the case to juvenile court.

The city has since announced plans to ban people from squeegeeing cars, but only in a select few locations. This is at least a tacit acknowledgment that small pockets of disorder can lead to larger problems, such as the death of a 48-year-old man. But by letting the shooter off lightly, and by not fully banning squeegee workers, Baltimore is allowing disorder to manifest.

No wonder the “Charm City” is suffering through over 300 homicides a year.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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