This year has brought the most gun violence for Chicago since 1997. According to The Trace, some 2,700 to 2,800 people have been shot in Chicago this year, with at least 425 people shot dead, most of them being black.
In August, there were only two days when no person has been killed in a shooting; all other days were marked by one to eight deaths, which sum up to 76 people. There is a much, much greater number of those who got shot, but, fortunately, survived.
These numbers are already bigger than those of previous year. They are twice as big as those of New York City, whose population is about three times as large as Chicago's.
This has already caused black population of Chicago, who are the most vulnerable to gun violence, to look for opportunities to leave the city.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has blamed this spike on an increase in gang activity, and has called for stricter gun restrictions. He has also promised to make a "major address" on gun violence in September.
This is the background in which the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has called for all its members to stay at home during the Labor Day holidays and "refrain from volunteering to work for any and all Special, Secondary and other types of Non-Mandatory Overtime Employment."
According to the document posted on the FOP website, the police officers are urged to "show unity and to protest the continued disrespect of Chicago Police Officers and the killings of Law Enforcement Officers across [the US]."
According to Zero Hedge, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has given an ambiguous comment on the FOP conference call.
"I would never get upset with the FOP for encouraging officers to spend more time with their families because they should spend time with their families," he said. "But having said that, I'll tell you this, the best way for officers to support one another is to be out there for each other."
Given the above mentioned atmosphere of record gun violence, the consequences of police being understaffed and (not exactly groundlessly) demotivated might be dire.