Brent Ashley, a member of the Ocean City, Md., Council, is convinced that young men and women sporting saggy pants are behind a June spike in violent crime. Now, the councilman wants to ban the style in the popular summer destination to help keep the city safe throughout the year, especially when flocks of high school and college students flood the beaches to celebrate the end of school.
“If you dress like a thug and think like a thug, chances are you’re going to act like a thug,” said Ashley, 62, according to The Keene Sentinel. “I just want to take some action to change the environment. But I can’t even get the town to discuss it. Why wouldn’t any elected official in Ocean City want more decency and dignity on our boardwalk, our crown jewel?”
According to The Sentinel, “The Ocean City Council president told [Ashley] to stop stirring the sand. The city solicitor told him a ban might be unconstitutional, even if more than a dozen jurisdictions around the country have introduced laws to govern waistband levels, including, just last week, Wildwood, N.J. The mayor told him there were less-controversial ways to address public safety and perception concerns.”
As far as Wildwood is concerned, Bloomberg reports, “The Cape May County municipality has banned sagging pants on its boardwalk in hopes of making the resort community more family-friendly. Those caught with trousers that sink 3 inches (8 centimeters) below the hips, exposing either underwear or bare skin, are subject to fines of as much as $200 and 40 hours of community service. The ordinance also prohibits bare feet and going shirtless after 8 p.m.”