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Baltimore police investigating death of Harlem Park nonprofit group founder

In May 2020, Matthew King, center, led a group prayer before volunteers started handing out food to families in Harlem Park, West Baltimore.
In May 2020, Matthew King, center, led a group prayer before volunteers started handing out food to families in Harlem Park, West Baltimore. (Taylor Mickal)

Baltimore police are investigating the death of a West Baltimore nonprofit founder, Baltimore police spokesperson Donny Moses said.

The passing of Matthew King is being investigated as a “suspicious death” after he was found dead inside of his Northeast Baltimore home Monday. The cause of death has not yet been determined, Moses said.

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King founded the Harlem Park Community Development corporation in 2018 three years after the uprising in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. He became executive director and president of the group in 2019, according to an online obituary.

The West Baltimore-based nonprofit’s mission is to help the livelihoods of Baltimore people facing hardships, specifically helping address areas of housing, food, health and education.

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Kwaku Mantey said he knew King for 11 years after he met him in New Orleans. The two became close and were fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc.

He remembers King as a stand-up person and someone who was deeply invested into his community.

“Matthew was a phenomenal man, a great brother and community activist who just wanted to see all people live up to their full potential,” Mantey told the Baltimore Sun. “He was someone you could depend on and ask for advice at any time — losing him has broken a lot of hearts and left a void that can never be filled.”

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