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MILLIONS of Americans have just days before they earn one-time checks worth between $450 and $1,500 in two states.

The payments are courtesy of the Colorado Cash Back Program as well as a winter energy relief rebate in Maine.

1Residents in two states are eligible for cash beginning in just days

The U.

S. Sun has compiled the requirements for both and when exactly you should expect your checks to arrive.

1. COLORADO ($1,500)

Colorado will be sending out the Cash Back rebate by January 31 to everyone who filed their state returns by October 17, 2022.

While checks have been consistently issued throughout the month, the rebates should all be sent by the middle of next week.

Governor Jared Polis originally signed a law in May 2022 to provide the payments of $400 for individual filers and $800 for couples.

Read more about paymentsBIG FREEZE How to get extra cash when the weather gets coldCHECKING IN Just 24 hours before final January direct payment worth up to $4,555 is paid

However, a few months later, more state revenue had come in. So the payments increased to $750 for individuals and $1,500 for couples.

The rebates this month are only for filers who completed taxes by the October 17 extension. Earlier payments were sent to on-time filers.

In total, about three million residents qualified for the cash.

To be eligible, you had to have been 18 years old by December 31, 2021 and also lived as a resident of Colorado for the entire 2021 income tax year.

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Additionally, you must have filed a state income tax return.

However, if you didn’t file taxes, you can still secure the payments as long as you applied for a property tax, rent or heat credit rebate.

Those who moved to the state within the last year do not qualify to earn the cash.

All checks will be mailed to your last known address, as identified on your 2021 tax return.

2. MAINE ($450)

In addition to Colorado, Maine will begin sending nearly a million residents checks worth $450 in just days.

State officials anticipate all of the Maine winter energy relief payments to be sent out by March 31 at the latest.

However, the end of this month marks the first time recipients can look out for the money.

The Emergency Energy Relief Plan was approved as an emergency measure to reduce the hardships faced by residents across the state.

“With high energy prices causing real hardship, this emergency measure will ease the financial burden on Maine people by putting money back into their pockets and ensure that our most vulnerable citizens are able to stay warm this winter,” Mills said after signing the bill into law.

An estimated 880,000 Maine residents are eligible for the payments.

However, to qualify for the energy relief payments, there’s a certain set of criteria you must meet.

First, you must have filed a Maine income tax return as a full-year resident for the tax year 2021.

The deadline to do so was October 31, 2022.

You also must have an income lower than $150,000 if you're filing as head of household.

Or, if filing jointly, your income must be lower than $200,000.

If filing as a single individual or a married individual filing a separate return, the limit is $100,000 

To qualify, you also cannot be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return.

Keep in mind, if you received the state’s $850 pandemic relief check, you will automatically qualify, as long as you didn’t change your 2021 tax return since receiving the initial payment.

All payments will be mailed to the address on your Maine tax return.

OTHER PAYMENTS

Several other states have implemented their own rebates to help Americans amid record high inflation levels.

Since October 2022, millions of California residents have been receiving rebates ranging from $200 and $1,050, depending on their adjusted gross income.

The one-time payments have been sent in phases and will provide relief to nearly 23million residents.

All Californians can expect to receive the cash by the end of this month.

Idahoans will also earn a $600 rebate this year.

Approved back in September 2022, Idaho passed a package to cut the state’s record budget surplus, including taxes.

Individuals will grab a minimum of $300 while joint filers should receive $600.

The Idaho State Tax Commission expects to send roughly 800,000 rebates by the end of March 2023.

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Another state is considering monthly direct payments worth up to $2,200.

Plus, see if you’re one of the Americans eligible to get $51.3million in debt erased.

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Column: In comparing Tyre Nichols to Rodney King, we’re missing this point about policing

Lora Dene King had no intention of watching even five minutes of Memphis police beating Tyre Nichols.

“Honestly, I have to babysit my mental state,” she told me. “It’s a lot for me to process.”

Like many of us, she had heard the warnings that the roughly hour’s worth of video released on Friday would be far more violent, far more brutal and far more savage than the grainy footage of Los Angeles police officers beating her father, Rodney King, back in 1991.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis surmised it was “about the same if not worse.”

And Ed Obayashi, a Northern California sheriff’s deputy and use-of-force expert, concluded it was “far worse,” telling The Times: “In all my years of use-of-force cases, I have never [seen] one where they are holding him up to beat him.”

But on Friday, King headed to Leimert Park anyway, and forced herself to watch video of five cops dragging Nichols from his car and then punching, kicking, tackling, pepper-spraying and attempting to Taser the defenseless 29-year-old Black man. And then laughing about it.

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Video shows Memphis officers kicking, punching Tyre Nichols as he calls for his mother

The city of Memphis has released the video showing the actions of officers while arresting Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop on Jan. 7.


Her mouth periodically falling open in shock, King reflected on what has and hasn’t changed in policing over the decades — including the delusions that far too many Americans apparently share about how change actually occurs.

Hint: It’s not hiring more Black cops.

“The only difference between 30-plus years with my father and now is we now have hashtags, clear video and phones,” she told me.

King was just 7 years old when her father was pulled over and beaten by four white Los Angeles police officers a few feet from his car in the San Fernando Valley. As they took turns hitting him with their batons, illuminated by the lights of a police car, more than a dozen other officers from the LAPD and other agencies gathered around in a loose circle to watch.

Later, not one officer at the scene made a formal report of the misconduct. They even joked about it. There were no cellphone recorders or body-worn cameras then. A stranger with a camcorder brought the gruesome scene to light.

It was so cruel and so callous, much of non-Black America looked at the footage and saw racism, pure and simple, nothing more, nothing less. And so many of those people thought — and many mayors and city councils agreed — that if we just diversified the ranks of police departments, it would solve the problem of police brutality in communities of color.

But it was never that pure or that simple.

As numerous researchers told my Times colleague Jaweed Kaleem, diversity isn’t a panacea.

“Studies indicate that Black officers are just as brutal and at times even more brutal against Black bodies as their white counterparts,” said Duane Loynes Sr., an assistant professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., who studies the relationship between Black communities and police. “If a system is problematic, it doesn’t matter who you plug into it. You will get the same result.”

Of course, none of this is exactly news to Black people, much less to Lora King.

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What Tyre Nichols’ death at the hands of Black officers says about race in policing

Five Black officers who beat Black motorist Tyre Nichols are charged with murder. The case has raised questions about the role race plays in policing.

“I know my dad’s situation,” she said of King, who died in 2012. “And [some of] the bystanders were African American cops who did nothing.”

This is why, when activists with Black Lives Matter takes to the streets to demand justice for an act of police brutality, the race of the officers involved is almost never mentioned, it’s so irrelevant.

And yet, almost 32 years after the Rodney King beating, many still seem confused and shocked that Nichols was beaten by five Black cops in a city where more than half the police force is Black and most residents are, too.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith were all members of the Memphis Police Department’s aggressive violent-crime unit, “SCORPION.” They’ve since been fired, arrested, charged and released on bail.

Their deadly encounter with Nichols started as so many do — with a traffic stop.

“You gonna get your ass blown the f— out,” one officer yells at Nichols, who is seated in his car. Then, with guns pointed at him, an officer drags him from the driver’s seat.

“I didn’t do anything,” Nichols says. “All right, I’m on the ground.”

A few minutes later, an officer tells Nichols: “Watch out, I’m gonna baton the f— out of you!” Then another officer punches him in the face. Others hold him up as more blows are delivered.

“All right, all right,” Nichols says, moaning and trying desperately to comply with their orders.

Throughout the beating, he screams for his mother, who was at home only a short distance away. Near the end of the recording, the officers can be heard laughing and joking as Nichols, propped up against a car, slumps over.

“Hey sit up, bro,” one officer tells Nichols, who, by this point, was lying on the ground in pain. “Sit up, man.”

I wouldn’t advise anyone to watch the video, even the snippets, but if you do, you’ll see what looks more like someone getting jumped in an alley outside of a dive bar than police officers trying to arrest someone.

That all five were comfortable carrying out such senseless savagery while not only wearing body cameras, but doing it under a pole-mounted police surveillance camera, is indicative of a toxic culture of policing. A “groupthink,” as Chief Davis called it, that is bigger than “bad apples.”

Sure, it’s extremely disappointing that not one of them looked at Nichols and saw a reflection of their own Blackness — and a recognition of the brutality that so many Black people have endured over the decades by people with a badge and a gun.

“They have brought shame to their own families,” Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, told CNN on Friday. “They brought shame to the Black community.”

They also betrayed the civil rights activists who’ve been fighting to protect Black lives for more decades than I’ve been alive.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who also has drawn comparisons between Nichols and King, acknowledged “that these officers are Black makes it more egregious to those of us in the civil rights movement.” But “these officers should not be allowed to hide their deeds behind their Blackness. We are against all police brutality — not just white police brutality.”

California

Column: MLK had a dream about ending police brutality. In L.A., we’re clearly still dreaming

Keenan Anderson, cousin of a BLM founder, is among three men of color who have died this year after encounters with LAPD officers. A vigil was packed.

And police brutality, at its core, is about systemic racism, not the racism of individual officers. It’s about enforcing a system of power that is built on white supremacy and carried out by overpolicing low-income communities of color, like an occupying force.

Anyone, even Black cops, can be a tool of that system because anyone can be a tool of white supremacy.

So, no, diversifying police departments won’t help. What will help are new laws that fundamentally change how police departments operate, whether it’s requiring more active monitoring of officers’ mental health or somehow changing their role in carrying out traffic stops. We have to be more intentional about explicitly forbidding and punishing behavior that needs to stop.

“Whatever we’re doing, it’s not working,” King told me. “It’s not working because we’re still in the same place going into infinity sign. So the whole everything needs to be reconstructed.”

Nichols, who died days after his beating, swollen and bloodied on a ventilator in a Memphis hospital, had lived in Sacramento until just a few years ago. He leaves behind a 4-year-old son.

Like the daughter of Rodney King, his son will one day have to make sense of a system of policing and of power that a majority of Americans refuses to meaningfully change because they benefit from it — even as it continues to destroy Black lives, one way or another.

“It’s sad we even have to compare this. It’s sad that it’s even happening,” King said, trying to come up with the words. “It doesn’t make sense. I can never make sense of it. It’s sickening.”

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