Eric Garner I can't breathe protests
An NYPD officer watches as protesters gather in front of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr State Office Building in New York City.Yana Paskova/Getty Images

A new hashtag has started to spread across the Twittersphere in the aftermath of the decisions by grand juries in Ferguson and New York to acquit two white police officers for the deaths of two black unarmed men.

Social media users have started to use the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag to reveal crimes that they have committed but have not been punished for as toughly as they believe a black person would.

Jason Ross, a writer for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, has been credited with starting the hashtag after writing: "OTHER WHITE PEOPLE: Tweet your stories of under-punished f-ups! It's embarrassing but important! Let's get #CrimingWhileWhite trending!"

The tweet eventually became a top Twitter trend worldwide with an array of criminal revelations from social media users who wished to express their anger at the discrepancy between the treatment of white and black citizens by law enforcement in America.

This week, a US grand jury decided against charging a police officer with the death of Eric Garner, who was approached by New York Police Department (NYPD) officers for selling untaxed cigarettes.

Garner, 43, began to argue with the officers about why he was being targeted before an officer used a chokehold - banned by the NYPD - to apprehend him. Garner can be heard shouting "I can't breathe" in the footage released online and he died soon after the hold.

The grand jury decision has led to the US justice department launching a civil rights investigation into Garner's death and caused mass street protests in New York City.

The decision not to charge the officer comes just a week after police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson, Missouri.