A Florida town has criminalized setting foot on city property with saggy pants. That means sidewalks, streets, parks, swimming pools and municipal buildings, for instance.
Fashionista spotted a report in the Ocala StarBanner, announcing the measure recently passed unanimously by the city council. Anybody on city property "wearing their pants two inches below their natural waist in a way that exposes underwear or bare buttocks" is subject to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
"It's disrespectful," said Mary Rich, the councilor who introduced the measure. (Who, it's worth pointing out, is African American.) "If you pull them up, you might be a better citizen because you may be able to find a job, J.O.B." If we're just generally criminalizing disrespect now, we're gonna need a lot more jail cells for affluent #teens.
"It doesn't matter what color they are," she told the Star-Banner, insisting that, "They all wear their pants down." But the ACLU for instance has long opposed such measures; a spokesperson told the New York Times back in 2007:
"I don't see any way that something constitutional could be crafted when the intention is to single out and label one style of dress that originated with the black youth culture, as an unacceptable form of expression."
City Attorney Patrick Gilligan insisted the law is written like a noise ordinance, encouraging cops to give a warning before making an arrest. "We are not looking to charge people," he said. Tell that to the cops who just found a great way to search disproportionately young black mens' pockets for joints.
Photo via Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock.