Baltimore Squeegee workers say washing windows helps them overcome hardship – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Police told WJZ on Tuesday that their investigation into the murder of motorist Timothy Reynolds is “open and ongoing.” Reynolds was fatally shot after getting out of his car last Thursday and approaching the squeegees with a baseball bat.

Police said they received “many tips” and examined several people but identified no suspects.

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WJZ spoke to several squeegee window cleaners following last week’s deadly confrontation that thrust them into the spotlight.

A window washer said, “If I go out at 8, I can make $500” in one day. He said “quick money” is hard to replace.

He’s been washing windows for nearly a decade, starting when he was 15.

“People don’t see the struggle we’re going through. Half of the people on these streets have no food at home,” he said. “That’s why we come here.”

They know some people are scared of them, but think that even with the employment programs the city is putting in place, scraping is their best option.

“You try to survive in the desert with nothing.” said another window cleaner. “You are just trying to survive. That’s how I feel like Baltimore City. You are just trying to survive. That’s it.”

They said they were careful not to damage the cars.

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“I walk past, I salute. You don’t want me to touch your car, that’s how it is. I won’t touch your car,” said a squeegee worker.

His friend noted, “If you go out with a bat, someone will automatically think, ‘self-defense.’ I will defend myself.”

Councilman Eric Costello said Monday the city failed in its response. “As a government, we are failing everyone here by allowing these circumstances to continue to happen. I again call on the BPD leadership to ensure immediate enforcement of the laws already in place that prohibit this illegal activity.

But Councilman Kristerfer Burnett called it “the same tired response that makes young adults less employable when pulled over on the corner than they were before the officer showed up.”

Many of those who scraped said they hadn’t noticed any change in the police response and planned to stick around until they were forced to leave or find a better way to win quickly money.

“It’s you against you. No one is going to help you on these streets but you,” one worker said.

There is still a $16,000 reward for information about Reynolds’ death.

He was a father of three and an online fundraiser for his family raised over $35,000.

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Police maintained a constant presence on Light and Conway Streets where the incident occurred and squeegee workers have yet to return to that corner.

About Sally E. Bartley

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