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Eric Garner Wasn't As Lucky As These #CrimingWhileWhite Tweeters

04/12/2014 13:50 GMT | Updated 04/12/2014 15:59 GMT

Fury is growing in the United States after another white police officer was cleared over the death of an unarmed black man, where white social media users are suggesting they can get away crime because of their skin colour.

The tweets came as protests erupted in New York, Washington DC and Oakland, California, over the acquittal of officer Daniel Pantaleo, who allegedly held unarmed black man Eric Garner in a 'chokehold'. Garner became unresponsive and later died.

The satirical #CrimingWhileWhile hashtag was started by Jason Ross, a writer on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, who revealed his own story of being let off too lightly for a crime by police when he was a teenager.

Other white people soon joined in with tweets ridiculing what they perceive as racial bias in the US police system, admitting to crimes for which they felt they had been treated too leniently.

Garner died in July after being arrested for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in New York. In a video that quickly went viral, officer Daniel Pantaleo appeared to restrain him in an illegal chokehold action by wrapping his arm around Garner's neck. The US justice department is to launch a civil rights investigation into Garner's death.

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Protests overnight saw crowds chanting "I can't breathe" at police, repeating the words that Garner was seen gasping in the video. Some staged 'die-ins' and lay on the floor, refusing to be moved, in a gesture of solidarity with those killed by police.

The decision by a grand jury not to indict Pantaleo follows the announcement that the police officer who shot unarmed black teenager Mike Brown dead in Ferguson, Missouri in August would also not be charged.

The news lead to furious protests and some violence and looting.

Grand Jury Declines To Indict NYPD Officer In Eric Garner Death