Residents of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, will no longer be allowed to wear saggy pants in public.
Sagging is defined as, “Appearing in public view while exposing one’s skin or undergarments below the waist is contrary to safety, health, peace and good order of the parish and the general welfare,” the ordinance says.
An important distinction is that violating this law does not give police the authority to arrest violators or do a “full search,” the ordinance says.
“There is nothing positive about people wearing saggy pants,” said Jerome Boykin, president of the Terrebonne NAACP. “This is not a black issue, this is not a white issue, this is a people issue.”
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Wearing saggy pants comes from a prison mentality, Boykin said.
“Young men who were in prison who wanted to have sex with other men would send a signal to another man with his pants below his waist,” he said.
The ordinance was passed on a vote of 8 to 1. The one member who voted against it was Chairwoman Beryl Amedee who argued that it violates free expression.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sent a letter to the council explaining that the ordinance is unconstitutional and urging them not to pass it. But other council members referred to an ordinance that passed six years ago in Shreveport that the new sagging ordinance mimics.