FACT CHECK: Did Sheila Jackson Lee Say, ‘Homicide Is The Leading Cause Of Murder’?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Democratic Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said, “Homicide is the leading cause of murder.”


Verdict: False

There is no record of Jackson Lee making the comment. The quotation likely stems from an article on a satire website.

Fact Check:

Jackson Lee was first elected to Congress to represent Texas’ 18th congressional district in 1994, the Houston Chronicle reported. A post on Facebook attributes to Jackson Lee the quote, “Homicide is the lead cause of murder.” (RELATED: Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Say, ‘There Are Homeless People Out There Who Can’t Pay Their Mortgage’?)

But there is no record of Jackson Lee making the comment. A search of the congressional record showed no instances of the congresswoman making the remark. The comment likewise does not appear in any of her social media posts. A wider internet search by Check Your Fact found no record of the quote being attributed to Jackson Lee in media reports either.

The quote has been misattributed to Jackson Lee on social media since at least 2015. The claim appears to stem from a December 2015 article published on the now-defunct website The Habanero of Texas titled, “Sheila Jackson Lee Identifies Homicide As Leading Cause Of Murders.”

The article is labeled as “Sheila Jackson Lee Parody.” An archived page from The Habanero of Texas website reads: “MOST content found in the Satire Category, including persons names, locations and anything else are used for satirical and entertainment purposes. The satire stories are Not Real, and some content found in parodies are based on real stories, but are exaggerated with humor.”

While the original article contains disclaimers of its satirical nature, Facebook users have continued to share the quote without such a warning, seemingly believing the quote to be factual.

Jackson Lee, in 2013, did speak about homicide as a cause of death in an interview with Blaze Media, where she quoted a statistic saying, “Homicide is the leading cause of death — second-leading cause of death — for young people ages 15 to 24. In my community, African Americans, it is the leading cause of death for those 10 to 24.”

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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