Houston politicians sound off on Confederate statues debate

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- They are Christians and Muslims, Jewish and Buddist.

Faith leaders from across Houston gathered at City Hall Wednesday. They filled condolence books destined for Charlottesville with words of healing.

They also stood together, with Houston city leaders, to urge the public to keep Houston peaceful.

"We have great police officers and we serve a great community that knows how to engage in peaceful protests and knows how to exercise rights without crossing that line into criminal act," said Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Mayor Sylvester Turner has spent the past few days condemning what happened in Virginia, even as debate about what to do with Houston's confederate statues have heated up. The Mayor is urging those concerned about the city statues not to do jump into action.

"You just can't go and say you're going to tear down everything, that's not the answer," said Turner, "and at the same time, I don't want anything defaced, either."

Council member Greg Travis raised eyebrows when he tweeted about the removal of the statues Wednesday.

Travis said critics are misreading his Tweet.

"I'm not opposed to removing them, I'm not supporting removing them, what I'm saying let's have a dialogue, conversation, let's be rational," said Travis.

For now, neither the Spirit of the Confederacy nor the Dick Dowling statues are going anywhere. There is no timeline yet as to when the in depth review will be completed.

On Saturday, a group of Houstonians plan to hold a "Defeat the Confederacy" march at City Hall. Organizers say it will be a peaceful event.

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