Ian Shaughnessy

I was wondering if this was a good first records request

I am trying to find the ages of the victims in an already public document so I typed up

“To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

The average age of the officers and/or the victims of any police related shootings from the past ten years. The dates, locations, conditions of subjects, case numbers, weapons, names, races, sex, officer names, grand jury dispositions, attorney general forms URLs, summary URLs, and geolocations are already available as a part of the “Dallas Police Public Data - Officer Involved Shootings City Of Dallas” dataset on Dallas OpenData website. I am looking for the average age of either participant in the shootings. This is being requested for a journalism project at my school.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me by e-mail.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely,

Ian Shaughnessy”

if this is not the correct way or any structure help you could give would be great, or any tips, I have to do three of these by phone or email by my midterm for Data Driven Journalism

Jack R-W

The Freedom of Information Act applies to documents that exist, so this request would not work federally. However, I’m pretty sure you are planning on sending it to Dallas PD, so you need to use the Texas Public Information Act. Under that Act, I don’t think this request will work as it asks a question. It might be better to just ask this to a PIO, because it’s going to be a hard request and going to take quite a while.

Ian Shaughnessy

So where would be a revision,

To Whom it may concern

This is a request under the Texas Public Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

The average age of the victims of any police related shootings from the past ten years. The dates, locations, conditions of subjects, case numbers, weapons, names, races, sex, officer names, grand jury dispositions, attorney general forms URLs, summary URLs, and geolocations are already available as a part of the “Dallas Police Public Data - Officer Involved Shootings City Of Dallas” dataset on Dallas OpenData website. I am looking for the average age of the victims in the shootings.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me by e-mail.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely,

Ian Shaughnessy

Also, in regards to the PIO, should I ask this question to the PIO in this way? Can I do it through muck rock? Or should I take an entirely different avenue.

Ian Shaughnessy

I also did not understand what you meant by “it asks a question”

Jack R-W

You are asking for the average age of the victims of police shootings. This is a “question” request that would require the creation of new records to answer (unless they for some reason had a document with the average age already).

Ian Shaughnessy

To Whom it may concern

This is a request under the Texas Public Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Two years of Officer Involved Shootings (dating from January 2015 to January 2017) including at least:

  • The age of victims

  • The race of the victims

  • The age of the involved officers

  • The race of the involved officers

  • Locations of the shootings in latitude/longitude and if that is not available the address

  • The badge numbers of the involved officers

I would like the information in an electronic for. I would like the information delimited form as well. CSV is preferred.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me by e-mail.

If you find any of this information to be exempt from the Texas Public Information Act, please cite the exemption specifically and release to me all the information that is not exempt immediately.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely,

Ian Shaughnessy

How does this sound? this is reformed, I am clearer with what I want..

I apologize for all the confusion I am a student and any and all advice is welcome.

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