Mayor Turner address rumor about Houston water supply being contaminated

Jessica Willey Image
Saturday, March 21, 2020
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Mayor Turner and Police Chief Acevedo said anyone spreading rumors will be prosecuted.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- During a press conference Saturday, Mayor Sylvester Turner addressed rumors about the Houston water supply being contaminated.

"There was another rumor the water in the city was contaminated," the mayor said. "That is also false."

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also spoke, urging the public to only listen to elected officials, like the mayor, and appointed officials, like the police chief.

The mayor addressed another rumor at a press conference on Friday, saying the city will look into prosecuting the person responsible for starting false rumors of a shut down in the city of Houston.

This comes after a voicemail went viral on social media of someone saying the entire city of Houston will be placed on an emergency shut down.

The person on the voicemail said they had just returned from a meeting with Mayor Turner and other city officials who indicated that the city of Houston would be going under a 24-hour lockdown.

The voicemail urged everyone to stock up on groceries, cleaning supplies and to withdraw cash from the bank.

During the press conference, Turner said the rumors were not true and the city will "not shut down."

WATCH: Mayor Turner denies rumors of Houston going on lockdown this weekend

"I've said before, number one, all of this is untrue. There has been no conference, no meeting where we've discussed a lockdown and said we're going to lock down the city this weekend or on Monday," Mayor Turner said. "All of that is untrue. I've said it before, I said it earlier today. I think it's important for me to keep saying it. That's why I've asked people to come to simply say that the information is not true."

Mayor Turner also said that he talked to Houston Police Department's police chief Art Acevedo, and asked his office to investigate the person/persons responsible for creating the rumors.

"I do believe it is a crime. And we should investigate it and find these perpetrators, these actors and prosecute them," Turner said.

"We're going to find this person. We're going to identify them," vowed Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. "There's a chance it could be an individual that actually is American and there's a chance it could end up being a foreign actor."

There's only three people who can make the decision to put the city of Houston on lockdown; the mayor, the governor and the county judge, according to Turner.

The Department of Homeland Security was also fighting bad information Friday night. In a tweet, acting Secretary Chad Wolf said there are no plans for a national lockdown.

In Houston, rumors picked up after California and New York enacted "stay at home" orders. Mayor Turner urges Houstonians not to trust everything they see on social media.

"We don't want to create an environment where we are creating more fear, more anxiety than what is needed. This is a manageable situation and all the things that we are doing as a city, as a state are falling into place," Turner said. "The systems are falling into place and we are going to get through this as a community."

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