HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The war of words between a pastor and Houston's mayor about the city's safety continued Wednesday morning.
Mayor Sylvester Turner addressed the city council with statistics he said prove Houston is not "the most dangerous city in America."
During a sermon at Second Baptist Houston in August, Dr. Ed Young said Houston is "one of, if not the most, dangerous cities in America," and he doubled down on that statement last weekend.
Turner called that claim misinformation on Wednesday at City Hall.
"From a factual point of view, we are certainly not the most dangerous city in the country," Turner said.
To illustrate his point, Turner used murder statistics from the Houston Police Department's Homicide Division. Those numbers show the homicide rate in Houston is down 3% from this time in 2021, or 309 this year compared to 318 at the same point in 2021.
He also showed a list of homicide rates in other major cities, and those numbers showed Houston had fewer murders than Chicago and Philadelphia. From a "per-capita" standpoint, the data indicates that cities including Indianapolis, Washington D.C., and Baltimore have higher homicide rates than Houston in 2022.
Young's statistics come from Best Places, which says it uses FBI data to look at all violent crimes in a city. It uses that data to assign a number to how dangerous it considers those cities.
The national average on the website is 22.4, but Houston's number is 50.4.
The most recent statistics provided by HPD, which accounts for crimes through the end of July, says violent crime in Houston is down nearly 5% in 2022 compared to 2021.
Turner only showed murder rates to the city council on Wednesday and said he'll continue to fight back against anyone saying Houston is the most dangerous city in the country.
"I am going to take issue, very strong, with anyone, who stands up and says Houston is the most dangerous city in America," Turner said. "It's important for us to refute that."
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