Baltimore will begin enforcing a ban on squeegeeing in six highly-trafficked roadways in January, as part of a new plan that includes paid workforce trainings for youth who agree to stop squeegeeing, reports the Baltimore Banner. The recommendations are two of several new policies included in a report released Thursday by the Squeegee Collaborative, a group of about 150 young people, city officials and health care and business leaders whom Mayor Brandon Scott convened after a July fatal shooting in which a teenage squeegee worker is charged. “The Baltimore I and so many of us envision is a Baltimore where no one has to stand at an intersection, asking for money,” Scott said.
The six areas were chosen based on traffic data, 311/911 calls, reported incidents and community feedback. Squeegee workers, who are mostly Black boys and men, clean motorists’ car windows in hopes of cash tips. The workers who operate in these areas, which will be labeled, will receive two warnings by Baltimore Police officers tasked with monitoring panhandling. After a third incident, workers will be issued citations. Motorists who engage with the workers may also receive citations. Scott said the city will roll out a public education campaign to inform both squeegee workers and motorists of the planned citations. The debate around squeegeeing, a perennial issue in Baltimore, was reignited in July after the killing of Timothy Reynolds. The 48-year-old resident got out of his car near an intersection and confronted a group of squeegee workers. During an altercation, he was shot. One of the workers, who was 14 at the time, has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder. His attorneys said he was acting in self-defense. Scott said the plan will enforce anti-panhandling ordinances without returning to the days of broken windows policing, where young Black men were locked up simply for standing outside.