Memphis, Tennessee, murder-suicide kills three postal workers

U.S. Postal Service vehicles stand in a parking lot at a facility where authorities said a postal worker shot dead two workers before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo / Adrian Sainz)

Two employees of the United States Postal Service (USPS) were killed Tuesday in Memphis, Tennessee, after a third postal worker opened fire on them. According to the authorities, the shooter then committed suicide.

The shooting took place at the East Lamar Carrier annex in the predominantly working-class neighborhood of Orange Mound in southeast Memphis. The FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service are investigating, as are city officials and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. At the time of this writing, the identity of the shooter has not been made public.

The victims have been identified as Demetria Dortch, 37, and James Wilson, a longtime director of the USPS. In comments to the local Fox News branch, Dortch’s father described her as “a hardworking young woman, always has been,” adding: “She was a good mother to all of her children.”

Wilson’s family member Roxanne Rogers spoke to Memphis Commercial call, saying, “He was a good man. An exceptional man. He was a humble soul, one of the friendliest supervisors one could wish for.

“He didn’t treat anyone differently. He treated everyone the same. He had compassion for people. If you had a problem, he would fix it for you. He was a member of the post office family.

The shooting is just the latest in a series of recent shootings in Tennessee. On August 3, a Nashville warehouse worker injured three workers before turning the gun on him. Then, on September 23, a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Collierville Kroger, about 30 minutes from Memphis, killing two and injuring 14. A few days later, a 13-year-old student at a school in Memphis was shot and wounded by another student.

While the possible motivations for Tuesday’s killings remain unknown, there is no denying that postal workers represent one of the most overworked and underpaid professions in the United States, thanks to decades of attacks by Democrats and Republicans. , with the aim of privatizing the largest courier service. The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening the already brutal conditions of these workers, with more than 10,000 postal workers infected and at least 83 losing their lives at the end of last year.

A report released Aug. 31 by the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity (CPI) found that hundreds of post offices across the country have withheld the wages of hourly workers for years. In a press release detailing the report, CPI wrote: “From 2010 to 2019, at least 250 managers in 60 post offices were caught changing letter carriers’ scorecards to show them they were working less. ‘hours, resulting in unpaid wages, according to a lot. summaries of arbitral awards obtained by Public Integrity for cases filed by one of the three major postal unions.

ProPublica reported last year that the USPS, over the past decade, had fired or pressured to leave 44,000 workers with work-related injuries. In addition, ProPublica, analyzing data from the US Department of Labor, found that postal workers, although they make up only a fifth of the federal workforce, suffered about half of all injuries and illnesses. federal professionals in 2019.

Nationally, there have been a total of 35,040 cases of gun violence from all causes this year, according to Gun Violence Archive. Of these, 462 are classified as “murder / suicide incidents”. It is impossible to understand such numbers outside of an examination of the decadence of the capitalist system itself, in particular the enormous increase in social inequalities in the United States. The only viable solution to ending the epidemic of gun violence is the socialist transformation of global society, replacing the pursuit of profit with a system organized to meet the needs of humanity.

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