Chicago mail workers threaten to stop delivering following carrier shooting
The day after this shooting, another mail carrier was struck while on route in Chicago, this time with a paintball gun.
Mail carriers in the city of Chicago are threatening to stop delivering in some neighborhoods after a 24-year-old postal worker was shot on her route earlier this month.
The unidentified woman was shot four times as an innocent bystander during a drive-by shooting at 11:35 a.m. near 91st Street and Ellis Avenue on Sept. 10.
On Friday, Chicago postal workers attended a rally with community organizers to protest the violence plaguing the city. At the rally, Mack Julion, president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Letter Carriers, urged members to stop delivering mail if they don’t feel safe.
“Any letter carrier who does not feel safe in any one of these communities, then they are not to deliver mail, and customers have to pick up their mail,” Julion said. “We are not going to have another situation where the letter carrier is shot down.”
The day following the shooting, another postal carrier was struck while on route, this time with a paintball gun while delivering on the city’s South Side.
“That’s a traumatic experience, especially when you had a coworker shot the day before,” Julion said. “It’s not funny. These are federal employees … Our members are at work trying to do their job trying to support their families, trying to serve the community.”
The Sept. 10 shooting marked the second time a postal employee was shot on the job in Chicago. In March, a 47-year-old carrier was one of two people shot while delivering mail in Brighton Park.
Isis Edmond, a fellow postal employee, told Chicago’s ABC7 earlier this month that she prays during her route: “You try to be aware of your surroundings, just look out, but sometimes, in her case, you can’t see everything.”
The threat of mail carriers refusing to deliver adds a new threat to the expected increase of absentee voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Chicago Tribune, by mid-September, Illinois election authorities had received about 1.59 million applications for mail-in ballots, indicating the state will break its record for voting by mail set two years ago, when 430,000 votes, or 9.3%, of the total ballots, were cast by mail.
The wounded mail carrier remains hospitalized in serious condition.
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