Judge overseeing Baltimore’s consent decree called police over squeegee incident

Published on: October 17, 2022 3:21 PM EDT|Updated on: October 17, 2022 4:48 PM EDT

7/8/22—A Baltimore Police officer’s car is parked on the corner of E Lombard St. & President St.

The judge overseeing the Baltimore Police Department’s federal consent decree called police on Sunday afternoon to report a brief and nonviolent encounter with two squeegee workers in the Bolton Hill area. He said one of the workers gave him the middle finger and spat on his vehicle, while another used used soap suds to call him racist, according to a police report obtained by The Baltimore Banner.

The incident comes just two months after Judge James Bredar was discussing the city’s tactics when it comes to policing squeegee work at a federal consent decree hearing. In that exchange, Bredar acknowledged that issuing guidelines for police encounters with squeegee workers was a “delicate process” but pushed back on insinuations from city officials that recent Supreme Court precedent prevented them from curbing the activity.

A spokesperson for the judge confirmed the incident but declined to comment.

Bredar was in the passenger seat while his wife was driving when the vehicle came to a stop on the exit ramp at the intersection of Mt. Royal Terrace and West North Avenue, according to the report — an intersection “known for squeegee related activity.”

At the intersection, two “adult males” approached the vehicle and attempted to squeegee it clean, Bredar reported. He took a picture of one of the men, who was standing in front of his window giving him the middle finger at the time he was photographed, according to the report. Police later identified him as a 20-year-old. The Baltimore Banner is not naming the individual because he is not being charged with a crime. Police did not identify the other man.

Bredar told police he and his wife refused the squeegeeing “multiple times” but the two men “refused to leave the immediate area surrounding” their vehicle and began to harass him, the police report said. The judge said the man who flipped him off then spat on his vehicle, and the other man “used soap suds and the squeegee stick to write the word ‘racist’ on multiple windows of their vehicle.”

The couple drove away shortly after and the judge reported there was no damage to the vehicle. A patrol officer responded to the intersection with a sergeant and identified the person whom Bredar had photographed. The man was holding a squeegee stick, police said. He was given a warning “to cease further squeegee related activity at the location.” Bredar was then provided with an update.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.