The shooting at an anti-police brutality protest in Dallas that killed five police officers camouflages the hard work of a police department that has previously been recognized for its efforts at building a strong relationship with the community that it protects.
The demonstration — a reaction to two recent shootings of black men — was originally characterized as "something so beautiful."
"When we organized this protest, there was no question on anyone's mind that this was going to be a peaceful protest, a nonviolent protest," Rev. Jeffrey Hood, a Baptist pastor and activist, told The Boston Herald.
Several police officers reportedly joined the nearly 1,200 people who attended the peaceful demonstration in solidarity.
"[The police] were really comforting us and being there for us and supporting us in our march," Sharay Santora, a former U.S. Marine who attended the protest rally with her two children, told ABC News.
A tweet from the Dallas Police Department shows two police officers smiling and posing in a photo with a protester before the shooting. It symbolizes the respect between Dallas' law enforcement and activists. As of Friday, that tweet had received over 9,000 likes.
Contributing factors behind the positive relationship with protesters and the Dallas police are the department's new practices that focus on de-escalation and community policing, as reported by Buzzfeed News. The practices led to a decrease in excessive force complaints and officer-related shootings.