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In Wake Of Killing, Some U.S. Postal Workers Want To End After-Dark Deliveries

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Postal Service employees and supporters gather at a rally calling for letter carriers' safety.
WAMU\Lauren Landau
Postal Service employees and supporters gather at a rally calling for letter carriers' safety.

United States Postal Service employees work through the rain, sleet, snow and summer heat to make sure everyone's mail gets delivered. But a group of activists say they shouldn't work into the night.

Tyson Jerome Barnette was shot and killed while delivering mail after dark in Prince George's County last November. Yesterday, postal workers and members of his family gathered for a rally and march calling for enhanced security for letter carriers. His aunt, Felita Guy, drove up with other relatives from South Carolina to be there.

"We want to also express our gratitude for all of the support that we've received from the post office as well as especially the mail carriers. We don't believe that the Postal Service is responsible for Tyson's murder. We believe that the person that pulled the trigger is responsible for his murder, but we do understand and believe yes there may be some mismanagement issues within the Post Office, and those need to be addressed," she said.

Guy said that the family came to show thanks and support for letter carriers such as Valerie McCambry, who has been carrying mail for 35 years. She works in D.C. and says she used to report to her station at 4 a.m., but now that the start time has changed to 8 a.m., she often finds herself working into the night. She says she sometimes feels unsafe doing her job.

"I was delivering a route in Southeast and the police came because they do raids in certain areas and they pulled double-barrelled shotguns on me and the lady had to tell them I was a postal worker and I went inside the apartment building until they completed their raid," she said.

According to a report the U.S. Postal Service filed with the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission, the percentage of mail carriers working past 5 p.m. nearly doubled from 2005 to 2013.

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