Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

On Monday, County Prosecutor Tim McGinty called Rice's death a "tragedy" but not a crime. (Photo: File)

'Saddened But Not Surprised': No Indictment for Cops Who Killed Tamir Rice

Twelve-year-old's family accuses prosecutor of 'abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment'

Deirdre Fulton

An Ohio grand jury has decided not to bring criminal charges against the two Cleveland police officers involved in last year's fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Rice, who was black, was playing with a pellet gun when he was shot by white Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann. Video evidence shows that neither Loehmann nor Frank Garmback, the other officer present, moved to provide first aid to Rice while he lay dying.

According to Cleveland.com:

Monday's decision comes more than 13 months after the shooting, one that catapulted Cleveland into the national debate about police use of force.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, whose oversight of the grand jury process drew criticism, called the shooting "a perfect storm of errors" while announcing the grand jury's decision at a press conference.

Monday's decision comes in spite of the fact that in June, a judge in Cleveland found probable cause that Loehmann should face murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide, and dereliction of duty charges in the shooting death of Rice last November. The judge also ruled that probable cause exists to charge Garmback with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.

A group of clergy and activists known as the 'Cleveland 8' in July issued a video and open letter lambasting the grand jury process. It read in part:

When the prosecutor uses the grand jury as a body to determine probable cause for charging and indicting, it is problematic in two ways: (1) It gives police officers the opportunity to provide exculpatory (exonerating) testimony without cross examination, as took place in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson and the Eric Garner case in Staten Island. This approach suggests a 'secret trial' out of public view, which, while serving the interests of the officers, does not serve the interests of justice. (2) The idea that rules of the grand jury can be altered at will depending on who is suspected of committing a crime is itself unconstitutional and discriminatory against every other individual subject to the grand jury but without the apparent entitlements that come with wearing a badge.

Attorneys for the Rice family reiterated some of these criticisms in a statement released Monday, saying they were "saddened and disappointed by this outcome—but not surprised."

"It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment," the attorneys said. "Even though video shows the police shooting Tamir in less than one second, Prosecutor McGinty hired so-called expert witnesses to try to exonerate the officers and tell the grand jury their conduct was reasonable and justified."

"Then, Prosecutor McGinty allowed the police officers to take the oath and read prepared statements to the grand jury without answering any questions on cross-examination," the statement continued. "Even though it is black letter law that taking the stand waives the Fifth Amendment right to be silent, the prosecutor did not seek a court order compelling the officers to answer questions or holding the officers in contempt if they continued to refuse. This special treatment would never be given to non-police suspects."

The family's attorneys said they are renewing their request that the Department of Justice "step in to conduct a real investigation into this tragic shooting."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

"It's what the American people want and, after waiting over 50 years, what they are going to get."

Julia Conley ·


'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo