People rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016, to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images

Death. Chaos. Pain. Anguish. These are tumultuous times in this nation and the world.

Unarmed black men and women are being slaughtered at the hands of law enforcement—people whose job it is to protect and serve. Black people throughout the nation are enraged, bewildered and fearful of their lives.

But on Thursday, the police became a target.

Shots rang out during peaceful demonstrations to protest the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. A sniper shot 12 police officers, leaving five officers dead and seven wounded. This is chilling.

In photos we reflect on the past 72 hours of tumult.

Felice León is multimedia editor at The Root.

Alton Sterling
Twitter
Protesters gather July 6, 2016, in front of a mural painted on the wall of the Triple S Food Mart convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., where Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5, 2016.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
A sign reading “Justice for Philando” and police tape are draped over the entrance of the Governor's Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016, following the police shooting death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., on July 6, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
An editor watches a video on July 7, 2016, in Washington, D.C., showing the dying moments of Philando Castile, who was shot by police in Falcon Heights, Minn., after being pulled over while driving. Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds live-streamed her boyfriend’s dying moments a day after a similar event in Louisiana.
STF/AFP/Getty Images
Clarence D. Castile, uncle of Philando Castile, speaks outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016, following the police shooting death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., on July 6, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton speaks outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016, following the police shooting death July 6, 2016, of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, reacts as she speaks to a crowd outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
A photo of Alton Sterling and his family is displayed at a memorial outside the Triple S Food Mart on July 7, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Philando Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, holding her daughter, speaks to a crowd outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
A memorial left for Philando Castile on July 7, 2016, in St. Paul, Minn.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Two people embrace during a demonstration for Philando Castile outside the governor’s mansion in St. Paul, Minn., July 7, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds leads a chant of “Hands up, don’t shoot” for Philando Castile outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Protesters gather on July 6, 2016, in front of the Triple S Food Mart convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., where Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5, 2016.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Jacob Ladda (center) leads a chant for Philando Castile outside the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on July 7, 2016.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Pastor Johnny Young blesses Kaleigh Yates, a first cousin of Alton Sterling, outside the Triple S Food Mart convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., on July 7, 2016, where Sterling was shot and killed July 6, 2016.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Protesters march in front of Police District 2 Station in Chicago on July 6, 2016, after video of Alton Sterling being killed by police in Baton Rouge, La., was released.
Tasos Katopodi/AFP/Getty Images
People rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016, to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
People rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016, to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
People rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016, to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
People rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016, to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images
People rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016, to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
A man holds a bat reading “Black Power” during a protest in Dallas on July 7, 2016, to protest the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Laura Buckman /AFP/Getty Images
Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh’s now-deleted tweet
Twitter
Protesters gather July 6, 2016, in front of the Triple S Food Mart convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., where Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5, 2016.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Police attempt to calm the crowd as someone is arrested after the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters in Dallas yell after police officers arrest a bystander following a shooting at the protest July 7, 2016.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters in Dallas yell after police officers arrest a bystander following a shooting at the protest July 7, 2016.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
Police attempt to calm the crowd in Dallas as someone is arrested following the sniper shooting on July 7, 2016.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
Dallas police officers escort residents near the scene where 11 police officers were shot—five of them fatally—July 8, 2016.
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images
Bystanders in Dallas stand near police barricades following the sniper shooting July 7, 2016.
Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images
On July 6, 2016, protesters block the intersection in front of the Triple S Food Mart convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., where Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5, 2016.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
On July 6, 2016, a person reads the personal messages written on the wall next to the Triple S Food Mart convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., where Alton Sterling was shot and killed.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Protesters block traffic and dance on cars July 6, 2016, near the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, La., where Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5, 2016.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Protesters block traffic July 6, 2016, near the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, La., where Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5, 2016.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Cameron Sterling, the son of Alton Sterling, cries as his mother, Quinyetta McMillon, demands justice for his father, who was killed by Baton Rouge, La., police July 5, 2016.
MSNBC screenshot
Philando Castile
Facebook