The Cocoa, Florida city council has passed a law banning the wearing of saggy pants in public which has now led to accusations of racial profiling.
opposingviews: The city council banned pants that expose underwear or skin more than three inches below the waistline on streets, sidewalks and other city property.
If a police officer judges the clothing to violate the law, then the offender will fined $25 for the first offense, $75 for a third and $100 for every time after that.
The wearing of baggy pants is usually favored by urban youth which has led to the argument of racial profiling as officers are now allowed to stop individuals simply on the basis of the clothes they are wearing.
Cocoa Police Chief Mark Klayman supports the ordinance and considers it an opportunity to confront individuals on the street.
“This would give the police officers the probable-cause stop,” Klayman said. “This could also be a measure to allow us to get drugs and guns off the street just based on this stop.”
Alberta Wilson, president of the Central Brevard Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) told FloridaToday.Com: “This is nothing more than a vehicle for further harassment of young people. I don’t like the saggy pants anymore than you do, however, I respect people’s Constitutional rights.”
“As disgusting as it may be, that is his civil right to do so. I’m worried about enforcement, I fear a police officer getting some resistance and resorting to some means and doing bodily harm to a child.”
Notwithstanding the constitutional right that individuals ought to have when it comes to deciding what they are wearing one wonders what’s next? Admittedly the wearing of saggy pants is an eyesore and it has been documented that it does cause issues with hip motor rotation as individuals are forced to wear compensate with their hips to keep their pants on. It could be an issue of offending public tastes and following public decorum (which is why there are indecency laws in place) but then again how would we be reacting if this was Muslim women wearing a veil which is mandated on religious grounds?
Then again who made the City of Cocoa the new fashion police? Really does the wearing of saggy pants really hurt anyone besides the wearer, and those who insist on imposing their aesthetic choices on others? Perhaps really in the end this is just a cynical way to allow an abusive law to get by given that saggy pants are generally detested by most and will inevitably allow authorities another way to stop individuals that it normally wouldn’t be able to stop, so much for liberties…
Reflect a variety of commentators on the web:
welcome to the new America…. where government tells you what to eat, what to wear and what to think… I find the saggy pants thing disrespectful and in bad taste, but dressing like a clown should still be a choice.
Great idea. Next ban the idiots from wearing their hat backwards.
That trend was old five years ago and stupid when it was a trend. Not sure why so many males are copying something from prisons that make the statement that they are ready for sex with another man.
If it is indecent exposure, there’s a law that can be used to charge them and, ironically, it just so happens to be called “indecent exposure”. This is legislating for two reasons: a) gain popularity with the 99.2362% of the population like me that hates the look and, more importantly, b) to give cops an iota of probable cause to profile based on age and presumably race to some degree during fishing expeditions that otherwise might come under scrutiny.
Wow!!! So a kid walking down the street can now get fined,searched or taken to jail because his pants are sagging. Know skin is showing & if someone walked down the road in boxers & Tshirt its not a crime. Republicans always talkin about less Government but always coming up wit stupid laws to take our rights away. I am totally against saggy pants or clothes, my 12yr old son would never get caught sagging but just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean we should pass a law against it. Whats next guys with no shirts on? If you turn your radio to a station you dont like u turn to a different one, If u see a dude wit saggy pants on stop looking. Our police have more serious crimes to be working than a homeless man wit saggy pants or a skater