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ProPublica: Hate crimes data

Ken Schwencke filed this request with the Sioux City Police Department of Sioux City, IA.


From: Ken Schwencke

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Iowa Open Records Law (Code Chapter 22), 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, including where available, but not limited to:

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 https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/hatecrimes#hatecrime-coverage. 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: Kevin Heineman


I apologize, I have looked through my records and never received your request from two weeks ago. Concerning the request you have below, our agency is not required to keep the information you are requesting below in a readily available format. Our records indicate we have had no reports listed as hate crimes since 2010 under Iowa Code section 729.a.2, within our jurisdiction. The request you have outlined below is open to a wide interpretation and there may be a way we could narrow the time involved in researching the information. If you would like to send me your phone number, I will be happy to give you a call and we can discuss the request further. For the information you are requesting below, our agency may be able to gather some records, but there will be a considerable amount of man hours involved in trying to find the information. Iowa code does allow our agency to recoup research costs associated with researching the information. Again, if you would like to speak to me concerning the request via phone, I can give you a better explanation.

Lt. Kevin Heineman
Records Section Supervisor
Sioux City Police Department

From: Kevin Heineman


Per our conversation on the phone a few days ago, our department has located the complaint you referenced from the FBI stats from September of 2011.

Incident Number: 11-34153
Date of Incident: 9-26-2011
Crime: Individual
Victims: 1
Race: Native American
Gender: Male
Offense Category: Willful Injury
Location: 1419 Court
Bias: Sexual Orientation


From: Ken Schwencke

Thanks, Kevin!