The New York City grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo for putting Eric Garner, an unarmed Black man, in the chokehold that ultimately killed him resulted in many forms of protests, including a trending Twitter hashtag.
The hashtag, #CrimingWhileWhite, is bringing attention to the perceived liberties whites receive after committing crimes. Relations between police and Blacks have been at the forefront of the news lately after the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Garner—all at the hands of police. The white officer that shot and killed Brown, Darren Wilson, also was not indicted. Rice’s and Garner’s encounters with police were both caught on video.
A search of the hashtag shows numerous tweets from white people basically confessing to crimes they committed with little or no punishment from the police.
At 19 I stole 3k of merchandise. Black cop convinced PA to drop charge 2 misdemeanor so my future wouldn’t be compromised #crimingwhilewhite
— Daniel Hill (@danielhill1336) December 4, 2014
Age 17: I bought gas but forgot to pay; an hour later I came back and they said they told the cops two black men did it. #CrimingWhileWhite
— Jacob Harold (@jacobcharold) 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
ive been pulled over with a couple pounds of weed in my trunk. i didnt get searched. i didnt get a ticket. #CrimingWhileWhite — marc goone (@marcgoone) December 4, 2014
While some applaud the popular hashtag for publicizing their testimonies of police letting them go, some Black Twitter users found it annoying that white people felt so comfortable confessing to crimes they committed.
Meanwhile, the hashtag, #AliveWhileBlack, highlighted the testimonies of negative encounters that Black users have had with police.
Please use hashtag #alivewhileblack and note that we are talking specifically about police harassment/brutality, not our many other issues — Jamilah Lemieux (@JamilahLemieux) December 4, 2014
#CrimingWhileWhite? I suggest you take a look at #AliveWhileBlack. Feel compelled to act yet? Or is this all just lip service? — Mrs. McSmartass (@angstyblkwoman) December 4, 2014
Snuck out of the house to go to a party. Waiting for a bus to get home at 2 AM, cops detain me for prostitution. I was 17. #AliveWhileBlack
— Imani ABL (@AngryBlackLady) December 4, 2014
@JamilahLemieux cops thought i was trying to break into a bank b4 it opened. Nope just going to work. In a suit. #alivewhileblack
— J Douglas (@jdouglas1914) December 4, 2014