United States Postal Service workers who deliver mail on Chicago’s south and west sides are threatening to halt service to select neighborhoods after a mail carrier was shot while on the job in the city’s Burnside neighborhood.
“The 24-year-old woman, who works as a United States Postal Service mail carrier, was shot at 91st Street and Ellis Avenue just after 11:35 a.m. while on the job,” ABC 7 Chicago reported earlier in September. “Chicago Fire Department officials said she was critically hurt after being shot multiple times.”
The mail carrier was not the shooting’s intended target, Chicago police officials said, but her southside route put her in the middle of a neighborhood wracked by gun violence. She is, ABC 7 added, the second mail carrier wounded by gunfire while walking her route: “In March, another Chicago letter carrier was shot while delivering mail in Brighton Park. He was caught in gang crossfire and told ABC7 he feels fortunate he was not more seriously injured from a shot to the back of his head.”
Another postal worker was reportedly shot with a paintball in the same Burnside neighborhood.
The United States Postal Service is offering a $50,000 reward for information on the shooting that leads to an arrest and reminded Chicago residents, in the same notice, that any attack on a mail carrier is a federal offense. The mail carrier, at least report, was still in serious condition at a local hospital.
On Friday, Chicago’s postal workers joined in a protest demanding that the city put a stop to the gun violence — and if they do not, Chicago’s postal workers may stop delivering mail to affected neighborhoods, per CBS 2 Chicago.
“Chicago postal workers, saying it is too dangerous to deliver the mail, are threatening to stop delivering in some neighborhoods one week after a mail carrier was shot on her route,” the outlet reported. “Postal workers and community organizers joined together for a prayer vigil Thursday near the scene of last week’s shooting.”
“Mack Julion with National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 11 said letter carriers should not walk their route if they feel unsafe,” WBBM added.
“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.”
Chicago’s homicide rate has dropped since early August when federal officials, working with Operation Legend — a program designed to pair federal resources with crime-control units in 14 major cities — began working with Chicago’s Police Department, but violence continues at a rate much higher than in previous years.
This weekend, at least 30 people have been shot and 2 killed in a series of incidents on the city’s south and west sides, Chicago’s ABC 7 reported Sunday. Those incidents, CBS 2 Chicago adds, include two “mass shootings” that took place within an hour of each other in the city’s West Pullman neighborhood. Four men were injured in those shootings.