It was about the "advisory" sent out to the Fox Chapel residents advising them of the "tall thin light skinned African American male" who was evidently only distributing political materials door-to-door.
Well, it's only taken him five days, but my buddy Tony Norman (of the P-G) finally got around to telling the story.
In doing so, he has some important things to say about the Fox Chapel police - things that deserve to be posted here at 2PJ, if only out of fairness to everyone involved.
Tony contacted the Fox Chapel police for an explanation:
Chief Laux then shared the backstory for the advisory that sounded plausible to me. Nine days earlier, a man roughly matching the description of the guy in the advisory was arrested for burglary in Fox Chapel. The woman who called in the tip about the black guy walking down Tree Farm Road happens to be “best friends” with the burglary victim. She assumed the burglar had somehow returned to the neighborhood. (As it happens, he is in custody at Allegheny County Jail.)Ok, so it's a misunderstanding based on an advisory inelegantly written. I can buy that (but I still like my imagined 911 call) but Tony's right:
Chief Laux copped to crafting an inelegant advisory, blaming character limitations of the format and desiring “not to write a novel” explaining the whole back story. He sounded genuinely sheepish about it, adding: “I can see how someone might misconstrue what happened.”
His intention was to convey to the public that the guy distributing political fliers wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Unfortunately, the advisory had the opposite effect because of the line about contacting the police about suspicious persons tacked on the end. People read it as a comment about the canvasser and not routine advice. Chief Laux regrets the confusion.
Fortunately, no one died as a result of a bad call this time around.