Thursday, January 28, 2021

Florida City Reverses 13-Year Ban on ‘Saggy Pants’ After Criticism That It Targeted Black Males

*A South Florida city has reversed a ban on “saggy pants” — after critics said it unfairly targeted Black males.

On Wednesday, the Opa-locka City Commission voted 4-1 to repeal both the original 2007 legislation and a 2013 ordinance that allowed authorities to give civil citations to men (and women) for wearing pants that exposed their underwear, per ABC News.

“I was never in support of it, even as a resident,” Vice Mayor Chris Davis, who sponsored the repeal, told the Miami Herald. “I felt it disproportionately affected a certain segment of our population, which is young, African-American men.”

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When the ordinance was first passed, the ACLU of Florida called it a “ridiculous waste of public resources,” noting that it would target and “impose overly harsh penalties” on Black Americans. 

“Since its inception, this law disproportionately affected certain segments of our population, including Black and brown men and women,” the city explained in a statement, according to the outlet.

“The Commission agreed to repeal the law opting for a less aggressive approach of educating our constituents to encourage proper dress,” the statement continued.

After the ordinance was passed, signs were erected around the city showing two Black males with sagging pants, along with the message: “No ‘Ifs, Ands or Butts.”

“The signs should get taken down,” Mayor Matthew Pigatt said during a virtual meeting. “It’s long overdue and they need to go. They’re an eyesore in the city.”

The city was reportedly inspired to do away with the law amid the ongoing social justice movements. 

“What better climate to do it in than the one that’s going on around the country centered on police reform,” Davis said, according to the Miami Herald, “and just looking at ways that we can make our public services more equitable.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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