In a 2016 Federal court ruling, the courts decided that high-speed internet service is a utility. This was a victory for start-up tech firms, microbusinesses and everyday consumers. They all use and depend on the internet on a daily basis. While some Americans cannot afford high-speed internet, many Americans find it difficult to function without it. Therefore, the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) decided high-speed internet is a necessity and the courts agreed. This ruling affirms that high-speed internet is as important as telephones and electrical power in the lives of Americans. It is not a luxury.
The decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was made in a case about net neutrality. Net neutrality is a rule that ensures internet service providers deliver the same internet service to all its consumers. This keeps companies who can afford to pay for faster speed and broader service from having an unfair advantage over their competitors who cannot afford it. Without net neutrality broadband providers could allow some content on the web to be delivered at slower speeds. Consumers could be charged extra for better service and have to pay more to be able to receive some content. Only two judges were in agreement. The dissenting Judge, Stephen Williams referred to the rules an “unreasoned patchwork”. He felt that competition in the broadband industry would be jeopardized by the ruling of the F.C.C. Google and Netflix are in favor of the neutrality rules.
When the rule was put in place Ajit Pai was a commissioner with the F.C.C. He was appointed by President Obama in May 2012. Ajit Pai, a Republican commissioner, was outspokenly against the regulation of broadband as a utility from the very beginning. Ajit Pai encouraged cable and telecommunications firms to continue the legal challenges against the rule. Cable, telecommunications and wireless internet providers sued to overturn the regulations put in place by the F.C.C, claiming that the F.C.C. exceeded its authority. This resulted in the 2016 ruling, upholding the decision by the F.C.C. The legal battle is anticipated to continue.
In January 2017, President Trump named Ajit Pai the new Chairman of the F.C.C. Since Mr. Pai took office, the F.C.C. closed an investigation involving T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. The investigation was concerning their zero-rating practices. Some view this as the dismantling of net neutrality by the F.C.C.
The shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was a terrible tragedy that took the lives of 49 innocent people, while another 53 victims were wounded. This brutal act was committed by a lone gunman named Omar Marteen. The incident has caused the exploration of current gun laws in the US. Because of the nightclub shooting and other tragedies in Orlando that occurred around the same time, some people asked how much more the City of Orlando could take. A number of individuals were moved to pray by #PrayForOrlando. There is much debate about whether or not better gun control laws would prevent this type of tragedy.
Days prior to the shooting, Mateen purchased the Sig Sauer .223 semi-automatic rifle and Glock 17 from a Florida gun store. The purchases were legally made on separate occasions. Assault weapons are often criticized for the ability they give shooters to shoot faster and produce higher death tolls. A federal ban against assault weapons expired in 2004. Sales for these weapons increase whenever there is a new legislative push to restrict them from being sold. According to Derek Byrd, a Sarasota, Florida based lawyer, there is no law that would have prevented the Orlando shooter.
The Orlando shooting sparked new gun control language debates prompting Senator Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats to speak out. Hillary Clinton has historically been outspoken against the National Rifle Association (NRA). Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy blamed Congress for the mass shootings, because of its failure to enact stricter gun control measures.
Sanders said, “We should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people. We have got to do everything that we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them, criminals, people who are mentally ill. So that struggles continues.” Former US Senate candidate, Patrick Murphy, joined Christine Leinonen, who is the mother of one of the victims, in giving a speech before the Democratic National Convention about “common sense” gun measures.
Earlier this May, the Herald Tribune wrote a piece regarding the false arrest of Cooper Moore, for an outstanding aggravated battery assault from June 2014. Cooper was arrested by local police as soon as he landed on the Grand Cayman islands on a vacation with his current girlfriend. While he was being held up, Cooper asked the police to explain why he was detained, but they did not give an explanation and instead locked him up.
At a loss for justice, Mr. Cooper’s parents contacted the Byrd Law Firm, which in collaboration with a private investigator put together a case that was aimed to clearing Cooper Moore’s name. According to the documents, Cooper was wrongfully accused for partaking in a fight at a Florida Smokin’ Joes. However, the investigators found that Moore was not involved, and a witness revealed the correct name of the person who was involved. Due to these findings the charges were quickly dropped.
According to an officer who first responded to the scene, Moore’s name was first brought to him by a bar employee who showed him the suspects Facebook page. Officer Dodge, who was on the scene said that “people lie to us everyday and they don’t want to tell the truth especially if they are associated with someone involved in a crime.”
According to The Innocence Project, misidentification of witnesses in regards to the crime scene is one of the leading reasons of wrongfully convicting and imprisoning people in the United States. The article also points out that the recollection of witness memory of the crime scene is even less credible after they have been shown countless of photographs of the alleged victim.
Further evidence of the case used by lawyers at The Byrd Law Firm was Moore’s alibi and the fact that he was never contacted by the Sarasota Police Department. Cooper was never informed of his alleged involvement in the bar fight, and a warrant for his arrest was issued shortly after. Moore was not aware of these developments until policemen picked him up months later while he was vacationing with his girlfriend.
Derek Byrd, attorney for Cooper Moore, states that the findings regarding his client and other suspects should have been turned over to a detective for the facts to be checked and eventually cleared. Cooper told his attorney that during the night in question, he was home and had records to prove that he never left his apartment.
With the help of his attorney, Derek Byrd, Moore was able to clear his name and no longer face 8 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He hopes that the police find the right person responsible for this fight and is willing to help in any way he can.