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Cocoa, Florida Bans Baggy Pants, Accused of Possible Racial Profiling
The Cocoa, Florida city council recently passed a law banning saggy pants in public, but some people are accusing the small town of possible racial profiling.
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.
Critics say that the law, which goes into effect in January, gives police the right to increase their stop and frisk people based solely on their clothing, which could lead to racial profiling.
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."
Cocoa Police Chief Mark Klayman told ClickOrlando.Com that the new law would allow police broader power: "This would give the police officers the probable-cause stop. Just like you if you stop a car with a taillight out, it can lead to other charges."