HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - "We have yet to hear an explanation for how this came to be," said Harris County First Assistant DA David Mitcham.
Mitcham and several prosecutors were shocked when they heard Harris County Administrator David Berry tell Commissioners Court violent crime is down 12 percent.
"We didn't believe the message he gave to commissioners court was true," he said.
And it's not.
"We were concerned about the timing of the report being the second day of early voting in the middle of an election," Mitcham said.
After sending an open letter to Commissioners Court questioning the supposed substantial drop in violent crime, the DA's Office got the crime stats for September from the sheriff's office.
More than 7,000 crimes were omitted from the County Administrator's report.
The new numbers show a small decline in crime. Mitcham credits Senate Bill 6 and our ongoing series Breaking Bond.
"And because of the District Attorney's Office taking a strong and hard approach to try to keep repeat violent offenders from getting out on serial bonds," Mitcham said. "It has improved over last year, but last year was a record year. We are still in the middle of a crime wave."
County Administrator David Berry declined to go on camera and sent us this statement: "We are working with the Sheriff's Office to review the updated data they submitted. Crime data is complex especially when it covers a population the size of Harris County. But there does appear to be a clear downward trend in violent crime. That's true whether you look at data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Harris County Sheriff's Office or the Houston Police Department. Reducing violent crime is a top priority, and we are all working towards that goal."
"In our view, Commissioners Court needs to look into this, get to the truth of the matter, and take corrective action," Mitcham said.