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: Tweet your stories of under-punished f-ups! It's embarrassing but important! Let's get #CrimingWhileWhite trending!— Jason Ross (@jasonjross) December 3, 2014
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.
Driving home from buying drugs at 21, I was pulled over and told that I was in "a bad neighborhood & shouldn't be alone." #CrimingWhileWhite— Susan Burke (@ThatSusanBurke) December 4, 2014
At 21 I was pulled over for a DUI. Should have gone to jail. Instead he followed me home to make sure I got there safely. #crimingwhilewhite— Stefanie Mullen (@ooph) December 4, 2014
#CrimingWhileWhite Meeting friends 4 camping. 3 hr drive. Blk lawyer only 1 w/no criminal record. only one pulled over (4 times) on the way.— Aaron Way (@ACWay) December 4, 2014
One thing #CrimingWhileWhite tweeters have in common: they're all alive to tell their tales.— Justin McLachlan (@justinmclachlan) December 4, 2014
#CrimingWhileWhite i got pulled over for speeding/running two red lights and wasn't even asked for my license b/c i "look like a good kid"— 1D dad (@sammylafrance) December 4, 2014
The only time I have ever been stopped and searched by police was when I was accompanied by a black friend #CrimingWhileWhite— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) December 4, 2014
Stopped for speeding an unregistered car with no plates and no license. No ticket or search. He just said: "Fix it." #CrimingWhileWhite— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) December 4, 2014
Police are really upset about the #CrimingWhileWhite phenomenon, but they've decided to let everyone off with a warning.— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) December 4, 2014
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.
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.