Wearing your pants down low is not just a fashion statement anymore. It is now also a crime punishable up to a $100 fine in Cocoa, Florida. A law recently passed which banned pants hanging low enough to reveal underwear or skin (butt crack); the correct measurement for pants hanging “too low” in violation of the law would be those hanging more than three inches below the waistline, and it is prohibited in public by law.
The law will become effective January 2013. First offenders of this “saggy pants” offense will receive a $25 fine, $75 for third offenders, and $100 fine for every subsequent time following this violation.
However those who oppose this law feel that it targets some young black men and it will be used as a method of racial profiling. Coco is a small town of Florida and some people feel that the police may particularly cite minorities on their clothing appearance, leading to racial profiling.
“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,” says Alberta Wilson, president of the Central Brevard Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In support of the law, Cocoa Police Chief Mark Klayman says this law would provide police with 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.”
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