Fri June 21, 2013
$100 Fine For Sagging Pants? Yes, Under Proposed St. Louis Bill
A St. Louis alderwoman wants to keep people from sagging their pants in public. Marlene Davis introduced a bill Friday that would impose a fine of at least $100 for a violation.
A violation is described as wearing pants below the waist, exposing the skin or undergarments which is quote “likely to cause affront or alarm.”
The topic may sound funny, but not all the aldermen are laughing. Alderman Antonio French says the bill inordinately targets young black men.
“It's another way the city is sending the wrong message to the young black men of the city," French said. "We need to be embracing this population, offering more opportunities and let them know that they have a partner and a friend, and not this adversarial relationship.”
Davis said her bill doesn't single out young black men.
"“No it doesn't. No it doesn't, no," Davis said. "And here's the reason why: it really got popular in the hip-hop community, and if you look at who spends the most money on hip-hop music, it's young white males, not black. So no it does not.”
Davis called the style extreme, and said she thinks most people are tired of the style.
"If you don’t know it, it comes from the prison system," Davis said. "When a man walks around with his pants down, it says 'I'm available for you to use me.' Is that how they want to represent themselves in the community? I don't think so," Davis said.
The bill will now go to the public safety committee.
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel