It was nearing midnight when the Dallas, Texas, police department first tweeted news that a #BlackLivesMatter protest had turned deadly:
Speculation and finger-pointing began almost immediately, and, it would seem, everyone was a suspect:
“It was the [Ku Klux]Klan,” one individual posted on the Dallas PD’s Facebook page, “trying to destroy the #BlackLivesMatter reputation.”
Some blamed the #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) group for fueling hatred against whites. It is the activist movement that began in the wake of the July 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Florida shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin.
Counteraccusations flew across Twitter by those angered over an alarming rise in police violence against people of color.
"I don't condone the killing of innocent police, but I understand the public's anger towards what has been happening to INNOCENT people of colour all across America for far too long! It's about time they copped some of their own medicine!" another user posted on the Dallas Police Department's Facebook page.
The Twittersphere exploded after conservative American talk radio host Joe Walsh, who formerly served one term as a U.S. congressman, tweeted what was broadly interpreted as a threat to the U.S. president.
That tweet subsequently disappeared, and Walsh offered his defense for having posted it.
And some turned their frustration against the media, worrying that in covering events it may only fuel anger across the nation.
But as many as took to social media to express their rage, millions more posted expressions of sorrow and condolence...
...calls for peace...
...and hope that Americans can overcome their differences in the future.