A host of celebrities have joined in a rallying cry calling for an end to the violence, following the killings of five Dallas policeman in the wake of the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Shots were fired into the crowd at the Black Lives Matter rally on 7 July, hitting 12 police officers and two civilians. One shooter, identified as Micah Johnson, was killed after a standoff with police.
Kevin Hart, Kate Hudson, Chris Brown, John Legend, LeBron James, Rashida Jones, Lady Gaga, Don Cheadle, Patricia Arquette, Shonda Rhimes, Marc Cuban and Jourdan Dunn called for calm as they expressed their dismay at the tragic events in Dallas.
Expressing his outrage at the killings, singer Chris Brown called on celebrities to use their star power and their social media platforms to encourage people to unite.
Posting an emotional video on his Instagram page, the Grammy award winning singer said: "I hate making these videos, cuz (sic) I hate to be acting like I'm the one preaching all the time. For this time, I'm just asking all of the celebrities, all of these people with actual voices, when you want somebody to buy your f***ing album, when you hear 'mixtape do this do that,' get on stage and do whatever is the f*** you do, shake your a**, shake your stomach, whatever the f*** you do. How about we speak up right now, and help people?
'Can we help? Can our voices actually mean something please?!" He followed the video with a second post with the word 'STOP' across the page.
Lady Gaga called on her fans to unite . "Stick together during this divided time. Be kind&compassionate to one another. Speak positively. Invision a peaceful future. #DallasProtest."
Writing on Twitter NBA star LeBron James made an impassioned plea. "We are all hurting tonight. More violence is not the answer. #StoptheViolence."
Sharing a quote from Martin Luther King Jr, actress Kate Hudson penned a personal message. She wrote: "These last months have brought so much sadness. From Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Orlando shooting, Dallas, to terrorist attacks of late Bangladesh, Istanbul, Baghdad, Somalia. Everyday there is violence like this reported and not reported. It becomes overwhelming that there could be such hatred and senseless killing. When I can't make sense of things I just start to write. I don't usually share my writing but I felt a desire to put this out there. Peace. "
Actress Patricia Arquette said: "Just heard about shootings in #Dallas Please everyone stop killing each other- no more guns. No more violence. No more murder. Horrible."
"Praying for the families of the officers killed tonight in dallas," said Christina Perri. "Praying we stop trying to end hate with hate. only love can do that".
Former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland asked for people to 'pray for peace' on Twitter. "11 Officers shot, 4 killed WE HAVE TO BE BETTER! PRAY FOR PEACE!"
John Legend, 37, said the shootings of police officers was 'counterproductive'. "These Dallas shootings are horrific. Killing these officers is morally reprehensible and completely counterproductive to keeping us safe."
Actor Don Cheadle also took to Twitter to decry the shooting of 12 police officers that left five dead. "Only an idiot or a deranged person thinks 'justice' means execute ppl (sic) in the streets. Are you one of those?"
Billionaire Marc Cuban tweeted his support for the people of Dallas who are reeling from the tragedy. "Dallas,we mourn those who lost their lives protecting us and stand together, united, to cherish those we live and work next to #DallasStrong."
In a video recording comedian Kevin Hart said that the news of innocent people being killed was hurting his heart. "This has to be addressed. These are innocent people dying". He shared a poignant quote from Martin Luther King Jr. on his Instagram page. "'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; Only love can do that."
Actress Olivia Wilde said: "It is truly tragic when a vicious few turn a peaceful protest into a bloodbath. Horrific and sad."
Mandy Moore said: "The unending heartbreak on the news is just beyond devastating & infuriating. I'm at a total loss. #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #Dallas'.
Police have since confirmed that Johnson was a lone shooter who appears to have embarked on a revenge attack following the deaths of two black men by police. The White House has said that no terrorist organization is believed to have been involved in the shooting.