Florida City Bans Saggy Pants . . . And Is Accused of Racial Profiling for Doing It

James Nye, Daily Mail (London), October 24, 2012

A Florida city council has granted local law enforcement the powers of a fashion police after they passed a law banning the wearing of saggy pants in public.

Granting Cocoa Police the ability to control a dress code, yesterday the council banned pants that expose underwear or skin more than three inches below the waistline on streets, sidewalks and other designated city property.

Claiming that the law is to make sure the city of over 17,000 is known as a family orientated community, critics claim that it instead gives police the right to increase their stop and frisk under the guise of the new ordinance.

Those judged by the police to be wearing inappropriately hanging pants will be handed a civil fine of $25 for the first offence, $75 for a third and $100 for every time after that.

‘It’s our city leaders’ vision to try and clean up the look of the city, and this is one of the steps they are taking towards that,’ said Officer Barbara Matthews of the Cocoa Police Department.

While the Cocoa City Council sought a similar law in 2010, the attempt was dropped after constitutional court challenges were brought against other local councils that tried to ban saggy pants.

The law will not be enforced until January 1st so that the local community is prepared.

Critics of the measure have said that it could lead to racial profiling that those who wear saggy pants are automatically criminals.

‘This is nothing more than a vehicle for further harassment of young people,’ said Alberta Wilson, president of the Central Brevard Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

‘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.’

However, confirming that the police will be using the new law as a means to increase their stop and frisk activities, Cocoa Police Chief Mark Klayman supported the move.

‘This would give the police officers the probable-cause stop,’ said Klayman to clickOrlando.Com

‘This could also be a measure to allow us to get drugs and guns off the street just based on this stop.’

Indeed, Officer Barbara Matthews said that when the new law comes into effect, it will be down to the police officer to decide who to fine.

‘If you are wearing your pants, and your underwear is showing, the length is three inches, we aren’t going to be out there with rulers or anything like that,’ said Matthews CFNews13

‘It’s going to be a discretionary call.’

The mayor and Police Chief Mark Klayman of Cocoa both said that the ordinance will improve the quality of life in the town.

‘Maybe this is something that does need to be addressed in our society,’ said Klayman to

The police chief added that it was potentially a tool for furthering law enforcement.

‘Just like you if you stop a car with a taillight out, it can lead to other charges,’ said Klayman to WESH.Com

Speaking of her concerns, Alberta Wilson said that the law could be the cause of dangerous confrontations.

‘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,’ said Wilson to FloridaToday.Com.

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  • Puggg

    Wrong idea.  If you let ’em sag, they’ll self-identify as undesirable, and it’ll be all the harder for them to run from the cops.

  • True. But I have seen white males dressed the same way. So I think that this issue is beyond race.

    • The__Bobster

      The issue is stupidity. Can you guess which race has cornered the market?

    • Michael C. Scott

      Since the NAACP has chimed in on the law, they certainly don’t seem to think the issue is beyond race.

  • RebelliousTreecko

    This whole issue about profiling and disparate impact is just so facepalmingly stupid.

    If a group of “minorities” (non-whites, Muslims, LGBT) is disproportionately involved with a specific behavior or act, no matter how immoral, then it becomes controversial to try to stop or criticize said behavior or act, because, logically, more “minorities” will be affected!

    Illegal immigration laws have a disparate impact on Mestizos, and Voter ID laws are feared to have a disparate impact on Mestizos/Africans.  Might as well overturn laws against murder and robbery, as those have a disparate impact on Africans as well.

    • The__Bobster

      Employment tests were eliminated because of disparate impact.  School suspensions are also starting to be reduced for the same reason.

  • Gullywumpus

     ” … I fear a police officer getting some resistance and resorting to some means and doing bodily harm to a child,” said Wilson …
    I’m a lot more concerned with the safety of the cop. Any teenager dumb enough to parade around with three inches of butt crack showing has already shown that he’s failed to meet basic standards of civilized behavior.

    • Michael C. Scott

      Resisting arrest is already a crime.  Does the NAACP have issues with that law as well?

  • Personally I believe that sagging should be mandatory for those who are inclined to express themselves in such a way. It’s also a reliable indicator of who not to hire, rent to, or associate with in any way.

    • puffdaddy

      Not sure whether you are being purely sarcastic Marty but I agree 100% – let people show themselves for who they are so we can avoid them.  Baggy pants, hoodies, and so on, are all good indicators for people to avoid without having to actually speak to them.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

         Speaking of hoodies, it’s a damn crying shame that the thugs have taken those over.  Hoodies are an excellent concept in a cold climate; alas, you can’t wear them now without people thinking you are up to something.

        My husband and I recently saw an older couple; the man had on a hoodie, and his wife was telling him not to wear it any more because it made people look askance at him.  And this (white) guy had to be in his 60s!  

        Meanwhile, anyone who is a _professional_ thief/shoplifter would never be caught dead in one!

      • SintiriNikos

         I agree with both of you, excellent points. I’m now wondering whether this is a do-gooder paternalistic approach to helping thugs fly under the radar, thereby fooling people who would otherwise avoid them into candidly associating with them, and consequently put themselves at risk.

        If this succeeds, this only proves that Derb’s advice of avoiding said group, regardless of dress is always best practice.

        • puffdaddy

          I think that kids today are brainwashed into thinking everyone is equal and the same and we need to “give them a chance” and not judge – which means not using your gut instinct, a woman’s most important tool for keeping away from dangerous situations. What a shame. I am sure that little Autumn got some subtle and not so subtle diversity training in school. My 5 year old has already started getting it in kindergarten.

          • SintiriNikos

            I wish you all the best, puffdaddy with raising your kid in this world. When my kid goes to school, I plan to either outfit them with a recorder to capture everything that is discussed, or to show me all written material. Or at the very least a full briefing of every class.

            I also plan to interview the teachers on their curriculum in order to get an idea where the biggest risks are. I will do this of course playing the part of a liberal, otherwise if I am myself, they may either not let their guard down and instead water down the description of the scope and content of the indoctrination and/or pay ‘special attention’ on my progeny.

          • puffdaddy

            Thanks SintiriNikos – Oh yes I know what you mean – we look at everything he brings home and will continue to do so. We will look at all the text books and we discuss politics and other issues with our son so eventually he’ll “get it.” In the meantime, I am very interested in the idea of “unschooling” but this requires living someplace other than the US – and I’m still looking. I am beginning to think Reagan was right, there is no place to go. But I remain hopeful we can find a place.

      • John Bonham

         Trust me , you don’t need saggy pants to know who and what to look for .. Besides who the hell wants their kid to see someone else underwear walking down the street ??
        Lets just say your out and about with your 8 year old daughter and someone walks by with saggy pants with their underwear showing (you know the kind), do you want your kid to see that crap ?? I sure don’t . I think it’s disgusting ..

        • puffdaddy

          No one really – since we moved from New York City to a rural area we see very little of it, actually. It’s not an issue here in the country. But at least in urban areas you know from a distance when to cross the street.

  • Mercerian Jed

    We hate bans on saggy pants.

    Instead of bans, blacks should be encouraged to always show us how authentically Diverse they are.

    Every saggy pant wearing, dreadlock shaking, ebonics speaking, mugshot scowling, buck nasty voodoo Diversity cancels out a preppy articulate Affirmative Action “scholar” on campus.

    The saggy pants gangs show us what Jonathan Capehart would look like without his black privilege.

  • One thing that sensible black parents should do is not let their sons out of the house with sagging pants. These kids do not realize that first impressions matter and any male, especially a young black male, is going to be seen as a thug, even though he may not be. Also, by dressing this way, he will not get a decent job. Can you imagine if his pants fall off during a job interview or while he is waiting to be interviewed? Without a decent job, he will not be able to afford the nicer things in life. But then again, he just might steal them.

    • bubo

      They don’t care, parents nor kids.   Most blacks do not understand cause and effect relationships.    Besides that, they love to be seen as a thug.   

  • All these yoots need to do is pull up their pants,  go to school and become literate, and get a job.  Selling weed and crack cocaine does not meet the criteria for gainful employement.  Do I think the majority of kids who walk around with their butts hanging out are criminals.  NO , but I do believe they have the potential due to the trends they follow and the peers they associate with. 

  • Seek

    Critics of the ban fear it may lead to “racial profiling.”  The proper response should be:  1) It IS racial profiling; and 2) What of it? 

    The ordinance, properly, sends a signal to the lawful and lawless alike that this is one community that plans on resisting a takeover by predatory black thugs.  The result is that blacks will leave and whites will come.  Good!  Maybe if enough localities follow suit, black males might do the unthinkable and dress like they’ve got their act together.  

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    I’m sorry, but there is decency to consider.  No one needs to see your tighty-whities no matter who you are.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

     The LAST thing “children” should do is expose their undies, espcially nowadays, with pedophilia being the latest witch-scare.  Not only for their safety, but for the safety of innocent adults who might be charged just for SEEING a kid’s underpants.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    ‘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,’ said Wilson

    How about you teach YOUR children about respecting Police Officers and not give them any resistance? It’s much easier for low IQ blacks to fight with the Police and hope for winning Ghetto Lottery tickets than to act civilized.

  • Up to my neck in CA

    The new one is the culture-card. It be rayciss to say anything bad about black “culture”.

  • anarchyst

    Spell “saggin” backwards … enough said …

  • ” Critics of the measure have said that it could lead to racial profiling
    that those who wear saggy pants are automatically criminals.”

    If the cap fits…?