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Law enforcement gets a lot wrong. But here's what the Dallas Police got right.

Five officers were killed in a shooting in one of the nation's model police departments.

Law enforcement gets a lot wrong. But here's what the Dallas Police got right.

On July 7, 2016, 12 Dallas Police Department officers were shot along with a civilian who had marched in a Black Lives Matter protest.

Five of those officers were killed.


Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images.

This news came at the end of a dim week in American history.

The Dallas shooting arrived on the heels of intense talks of the impact of gun violence in communities across the country and two high-profile police killings of black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The number of civilian deaths by police officers this year has now surpassed 560 people.

All of this obviously demands a number of questions but especially:

What are we getting wrong? And is anyone trying to get it right?

Statistically speaking, the DPD actually was getting some stuff right.

Police chief David Brown has made some major strides in improving police engagement with communities of color through what some would call unconventional tactics (by former police standards).

And although the department is not perfect by any stretch, the DPD has actually become a model institution for many large, city-based police departments around the nation, especially those that struggle with civilian claims of excessive police violence, staggering homicide rates, and a large number of civilian deaths by cops. Most impressively, from 2009 to 2014, excessive force complaints were down a whopping 64% in Dallas, a statistic that should be applauded.

The reforms took a major overhaul, but a few key elements really started getting the job done. Here are some of the bright points:

1. They added new crime-fighting techniques to their department, all aimed at helping people in the community.

Under the direction of Brown, the DPD has implemented new techniques, including training on how to de-escalate high-stress situations. Professions such as therapy and nursing typically require their employees to learn de-escalating, or reducing the intensity of a situation, but police don't generally learn these skills.

Because police have long been taught to use force, the idea of backing off might seem ridiculous to some officers — but Dallas is proving that it actually works. Not only did these new skills help reduce homicide rates, but they also helped with the drop in excessive force complaints in recent years.


2. They've worked toward being transparent with people.

Again, they're not perfect, but they've tried really hard. After Brown met with White House officials in June to discuss police transparency, the Dallas police released information about the police force and shootings to everyone in their community.

According to the report, they used force more than 2,200 times last year. Of those instances, 11 shootings involved officers while the rest included situations where suspects were taken to the ground by officers, tasered, or hit with a baton.

With this information release came an opportunity to start a conversation in the community about how to be better. And that's really important.

3. They have been open to change.

As frustration and violence increased, the leaders of the department have reportedly become more accepting of constructive criticism. In a op-ed for The Dallas Morning News, Brown explained:

"We are by no means perfect; there is plenty of room for criticism. We continue to be open to changing policies, training and community engagement. My biggest hope is that I am holding true to what I told that police recruiter: 'I want to serve the community, sir.'"


Brown speaks after five officers were killed. Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images.

It seems that the relationship between the DPD and communities of color, while strained, showed signs of progress during recent years, too. Witness accounts from the Black Lives Matter protests are evidence of that.




4. While evidence is still coming out about the assailant(s) in the Dallas shooting, Brown made it very clear during a press conference that militarizing his police staff isn't an option.

"We are not going to let a coward who would ambush police officers change our democracy," he said.

Overall, our criminal justice system is flawed.

Highly flawed. Incredibly, incredibly flawed.

Black Lives Matter protestors are fighting against violence, not for it. Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images.

Communities of color live in fear of heightened homicide rates. Black men are especially susceptible to being killed by police in contrast to their white counterparts. Black people have higher incarceration rates. And our history with law enforcement in America is bleak.

But a willingness to change in law enforcement could help us improve.

As we mourn with the DPD, it's important to remember that there aren't just two sides to these issues.

Many have pitted Black Lives Matter activists and officers against each other this week, but the fact is that most folks in each group want the same thing: peace.

Honoring black people and cops isn't mutually exclusive: You can respect the lives of police while also recognizing the concerns and heartache of black Americans. And acknowledging the fact the police brutality is real and needs reform doesn't mean that you can't respect and appreciate police.

And while our police system needs improving, the DPD's recent record is an example of what happens when people in power listen carefully.

It shows us that when people in power react swiftly instead of dragging their feet and put their citizens over the set status quo, change is actually possible.

So this week, as we're mourning black people killed unjustly along with innocent officers killed in the line of duty, we should remember that the DPD is by no means perfect.

But they are an example of what it means to try to move toward progress however you can. And they're an example of what more departments should be doing, too.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

via Wikimedia Commons and Goalsetter

America's ethnic wealth gap is a multi-faceted problem that would take dramatic action, on multiple fronts, to overcome. One of the ways to help communities improve their economic well-being is through financial literacy.

Investopedia says there are five primary sources of financial education—families, high school, college, employers, and the military — and that education and household income are two of the biggest factors in predicting whether someone has a high level of financial literacy.

New Orleans Saints safety, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and social justice activist Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hope to help bridge the wealth gap by teaching students about investing at a young age.

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True

2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.