COUNCILLORS in Florida’s City Council of Ocala have passed a new Draconian law which comes with a $500 fine or six month jail sentence banning the wearing of trousers that sag so low that they show underwear.
Passed to combat the growing trend among young men to wear sagging trousers, the new law empowers police to arrest offenders on the spot. However, police will have the discretion to issue written warnings or hand out fines there and then but repeat offenders face the prospect of prosecution and jail.
Last week, the city council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that prohibits anyone on city property from wearing pants two inches below their natural waist. Human rights activists have labelled it a breach of freedom and an assault on individual liberties but this did not deter councillors from passing the law.
This is the second time the city council has tried to pass this law as in 2009, Councilwoman Mary Rich requested the ordinance but as of then, no one seconded her motion. At the time, Mayor Kent Guinn said that one of his objections was that the ordinance would lead to profiling.
According to Councillor Rich, under the new law, both genders and all races will be subject to the ordinance, so there will be no profiling. This law is enforceable on all city-owned or leased property, including sidewalks, streets, parks, sports, recreation and public transportation facilities and parking lots.
In a similar incidence, authorities in Pikeville in Kentucky have also unanimously approved an ordinance making saggy pants illegal. Under their new law, anyone caught with their pants more than three inches below the top of the hips will be guilty of public indecency.
Contravention of Pikeville’s new law, however, only attracts a fine of $25 for the first offenders and no more than $50 for subsequent offenses. A small town that is 95% Caucasian, Pikeville only has a population of 6,295 people and 2,705 households.