S A G G I N G
ALABAMA CITIES BAN SAGGING PANTS
Selma, Alabama has passed an ordinance now it's time for other cities to step up and place laws effectively to ban sagging pants once and for all. An ordinance passed in black and white that our officers though out the state and in each county know what to tolerate and what not to tolerate. Now they know what we expect, and they know how to handle it.
STATES WHERE CITIES OR COUNTIES HAVE PASSED OR PROPOSED THEIR OWN SAGGING PANTS BANS.
- Alabama (Collinsville)
- Alabama (Dadeville)
- Alabama (Greenville)
- Alabama (Mobile)
- Alabama (Montgomery)
- Alabama (Selma)
- Alabama (Talladega)
- Florida (Miami, Jacksonville, Cocoa, Riviera Beach)
- Georgia (Suburbs of Atlanta, Albany)
- Illinois (North Lawndale, Lynwood, Saul Village, Evanston)
- Louisiana (Terrebonne Parish, Lafourche Parish, Shreveport, Mansfield, Delcambre and proposed statewide)
- Michigan (Suburbs of Detroit)
- Missouri (Collinsville)
- New Jersey (Wildwood, Seaside Heights)
- Ohio (East Cleveland)
- Texas (Fort Worth)
- Virginia (proposed statewide)
The City Council in Collinsville, Ill. passed an ordinance last week that will require those caught with their pants lower than three inches below their waist to pay $100 and receive three hours of community service, and that's just for the first offense. Collinsville Mayor John Miller issued an apology for the anti-sagging law, calling it a step backward for the community.
"I don't think anyone has a right to tell anyone how to wear a certain pair of pants," said Miller to the Riverfront Times. "This country was founded on liberties given to people to be different. If we inhibit that right to be different, we're obstructing that nature that this country was founded on."
City officials in Dadeville, Ala., will soon vote on an ordinance that could ban saggy pants, short shorts and miniskirts. Councilman Frank Goodman proposed the ban on sagging pants last month, according to the Alabama the Alabama Media Group. Fellow Council member Stephanie Kelley proposed adding attire for women to the ordinance, so that men wouldn’t be “singled out" in a recent council meeting, according to the Alexander City Outlook.
“My concern is it should be for everybody,” Kelley said during a council meeting last week. “I think for the girls, with these shorts up so high looking like under garments and dresses so short, I don’t want us to be showing favoritism.” In an interview with The Daily Beast, Goodman said he has pushed for a law banning saggy pants since 2008. The introduction of the ordinance was to encourage a sense of self-respect in the individuals who “slack” their pants, Goodman said.
“I think it gives our younger generation the wrong impression of what is cool,” Goodman told The Daily Beast. “I prayed and asked God to show me what I should do, and the way I should go about it. What would God do? Did God go around doing this?” The issue of de-legalizing garments is not a new one. Several other cities across the country have considered or implemented such laws.
Hampton, Ga., city council members voted in the disorderly conduct statute in 2011 that applies to skin and underwear-exposing garments, according to television news station WGCL-TV, CBS-46. The fine for first-time offenders is $50, and the fine jumps to $200 for a second violation. Other banned saggy pants laws exist in Albany, Ga., and Jefferson Davis Parish, La., according to the Outlook.
The Alabama House of Representatives introduced a bill for Montgomery County on the slacking pants issue in 2012 that would have fined up to $150, but it never became law, according to the Alabama Media Group. Dadeville's "saggy pants" law has been denounced by some residents as frivolous on Alexander City Outlook's Facebook page." I, by no means, like sagging pants, but our police or city leaders should not be in the dress code business. I can name several other issues that they could be focusing on," Dadeville’s City Attorney Robin Reynolds expects to have its “saggy pants” ordinance ready for the next council meeting.
Don't get caught with your pants down in Greenville. It could cost you $200. The Greenville city council passed an ordinance on Monday to ban the saggy pants fashion fad from city streets. Individuals caught with more than four inches of their underwear or rear end showing will face fines ranging from $25 to $200, says the report.
Greenville Mayor Dexter McClendon told the news station that the ordinance was meant to serve as a reminder that people should dress appropriately while in public. "I feel like we need to send a message to let them know what we've got something on the books, this is not going to be an ordinance that we go out and over enforce or anything like that," he said.
Greenville is now the third city in Alabama behind Selma and Demopolis to ban saggy pants. Other cities such as Huntsville and Dothan have considered cracking down on the saggy pants problem but failed after the issue was brought to a vote. "I don't think we need a city ordinance for this,” Dothan District 6 commissioner Keith Seagle said after the ordinance was rejected in Dothan.
“This is an issue best addressed by parents, churches and community leaders.” Other towns across the nation have also recently taken measures and faced major opposition to get people to pull their pants up in public.
Ordinances to impose a teen curfew in Mobile and to ban sagging pants failed in the City Council 4 to 3 votes. The curfew dominated the debate, which lasted for several hours. The issues have received widespread attention amid concerns about youth crime and violence.
Each ordinance won four votes of support on the seven-member council. But council rules required a five-vote super-majority in order to pass. John Williams, Jermaine Burrell and Fred Richardson voted against the curfew; Williams, Bess Rich and Gina Gregory voted against the sagging pants item, which would have been added to the city’s indecent exposure law. Williams would not support a curfew of any kind and Burrell and Richardson would not support an amended version that replaced the original put forth by the Police Department and former Mayor Sam Jones.
Alabama House passes saggy pants ban for Montgomery County. Called the saggy pants bill, the measure applies only to Montgomery County. It passed the house by a 59-0 vote. The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, has said he finds it disrespectful when young people wear their paints sagging below their hips, often showing their underwear.
The Selma City Council voted 5-2 to ban sagging pants that falls more than 3 inches below the hips. District Attorney Michael Jackson urged the council to approve the pants ordinance. He said it will make people feel freer to tell young people to pull up their pants. "The district attorney told the Selma Times-Journal that enforcement will require common sense."
After receiving complaints from several residents, Talladega’s city council is seriously considering an ordinance banning the practice known as ‘sagging.’ City Councilman Donnie Miller tried to propose a similar ban on low-riding pants seven years ago, around the same time Atlanta, Georgia, examined the idea. “We took a serious look at the proposal that was put up by Atlanta a while back,” Miller told Yellowhammer Tuesday afternoon.
“We decided to hold up when they ran into legal issues and wanted to be on solid legal footing.” Miller believes that now is as good a time as any to tackle the issue as more cities are getting involved. “Some people might have a problem with it because it may be seen as a freedom of speech issue or human rights,” Miller stated, “But what we really have is an indecent exposure issue.”
Since the failure of Atlanta’s ordinance, many other cities have tried and succeeded in passing such measures. In 2011, the city of Hampton, Georgia, expanded their disorderly conduct statute to include sagging. First-time violators face a $50 fine and those who break the law multiple times could be hit with up to a $200 fine. The statute applies to anyone wearing pants, shorts, or skirts more than three inches below the hips—exposing skin or underwear.
Other Alabama municipal efforts have not been so successful as their Georgia counterparts. In 2011, Mobile’s Council attempted to pass a ban but fell one vote short. A year later, the Alabama House of Representatives considered outlawing sagging, though the law would have only applied to Montgomery County. The bill, which threatened those who sag with fines of up to $150, died like its Mobile predecessor.
Despite the seeming inability elsewhere in the state to pass such laws, the Talladega council is optimistic that such an ordinance can and will pass. According to Miller, who believes that something can get done sometime in the next 3 to 6 months, the legal issues have been handed over to the city attorneys to research and the council is also awaiting a new city manager to help with administration.
The ordinance also cites public health as reason for banning saggy pants. There is evidence that indicates that wearing sagging pants is injurious to the health of the wearer as it causes improper gait.
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ALABAMA SAGGING PANTS LAW
"Now their are sagging with no underwear."