ProPublica: Hate crimes data

Ken Schwencke filed this request with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office of Hidalgo County, TX.
Est. Completion None
No Responsive Documents


From: Ken Schwencke

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Any database or other records of hate crimes or crimes evidencing bias of race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or disability reported to or investigated by your agency since Jan. 1, 2010, containing at least the following fields:

the incident number
date of the incident
whether the crime was against individuals or a business / property
number of victims
race or ethnicity of the victims
gender of the victims
the offense classification
the location of the incident
the bias motivation (anti-black, anti-muslim, etc)

I would like the records in a machine-readable, electronic format if possible. If the records are kept in another format, or kept individually, I would still like copies.

This request is made as part of the Documenting Hate Project, a collaboration involving dozens of news organizations, led by ProPublica. Coverage from the project is compiled at

This request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


Ken Schwencke

From: Blanca Sanchez

MuckRock News
Please be advised we do not have any information responsive to your request.

Thank you,
Blanca E Sanchez
Administration Division
Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office
Main:  (956) 383-8114
Office: (956) 292-2920
Fax:     (956) 393-6179

From: Ken Schwencke

Hi Blanca,

Thanks so much for your help with this request. Has the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office never investigated a hate crime in the time period I asked about, or are there just no records matching my description?

Appreciate any help,
Ken Schwencke

From: Blanca Sanchez

Mr. Schwencke, 


The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office will no longer accept public information requests made to individual employees.  Per Section 552.301(c), a request made by electronic

mail or facsimile transmission must be sent to the officer for public information or the officer’s designee.  See Tex. Gov’t Code §552.301(c).


Email:  ; facsimile: (956) 393-6179;  Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1228, Edinburg, Texas 78540  


As a reminder, under the Public Information Act, a governmental body is not required to prepare new information in response to a request.  See A & T Consultants, Inc. v. Sharp ,

904 S.W.2d 668, 676 (Tex. 1995); Fish v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist. , 31 S.W.3d 678, 681 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2000, pet. denied); Attorney General Opinion H-90 (1973); Open Records

Decision Nos. 452 at 2–3 (1986), 342 at 3 (1982), 87 (1975).


Additionally, a governmental body is not required to prepare answers to questions or to do legal research.  See Open Records Decision Nos. 563 at 8 (1990) (considering request for

federal and state laws and regulations), 555 at 1–2 (1990) (considering request for answers to fact questions).


For more information regarding the Public Information Act, please visit:


Any further clarification can be done through our Media Public Information Officer.

Thank you for your cooperation.

From: Ken Schwencke

Hi there,

I was given a “no response records” response to my request (17-103-SO). In trying to ask a followup question for clarification, I was directed by Blanca Sanchez to contact this email address. Here is my question:

Has the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office never investigated a hate crime in the time period I asked about (2010-present)?

Thanks so much for any clarification.
Ken Schwencke
w: 917-512-0253
c: 561-756-6135