Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pants pull-up law or Bag the sags.

The July 9th Detroit Free Press has a front page article titled "Flint police crackdown on saggy pants." The city of Flint Michigan has a new police chief, David Dicks, who issued a memo to all officers informing them that:
The crime, he says, is disorderly conduct or indecent exposure, both misdemeanors punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and/or fines up to $500.
The chief's justification is:
On June 27, the chief issued a departmental memorandum telling officers: "This immoral self expression goes beyond freedom of expression."
The new law's form will be:
Dicks, 41, broke down his interpretation of the laws as such: Pants pulled completely below the buttocks with underwear showing is disorderly conduct; saggy pants with skin of the buttocks showing is indecent exposure, and saggy pants, not completely below the buttocks, with underwear exposed results in a warning.
As a rule, I'm against any laws that try to legislate 'decency.' I can see laws that prohibit genitalia exposure, maybe even underwear exposure on the grounds of a threat to the health of others. But if this new rule on pants is accepted, what will be next? Skirts and/or shorts above the knees being deemed indecent? In the same paper, Freep writer Rochelle Riley op-eds that she hopes thongs will be next.

My main point is that if the pants law can't be based on the principle of protecting the rights of citizens e.g. a health threat, it shouldn't exist. The pressure to wear pants above the hip should come from the private sector. An example of this would be a sign I saw on the door of a family owned grocery store which read, IIRC, "Pull your pants up before entering or no service." That is a proper use of private social pressure.

Some of these kids will out grow this fad as did the black chief. Others won't but all are second handed conformists. They can't wait to 'fit in' to the latest socially tolerated method of expressing their social independence or individualism.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Hi Mike!

I'll be sending a note to the Flint Chief of Police, City Hall, etc. This a waste of money by a bureaucrat who believes he has a moral right to expropriate taxes from the very teenagers he is harassing. These kids aren't even allowed to vote. This is completely illegal and immoral.

Who will be next on the list of people who are deemed indecent, immoral, disorderly, or offense to look at? Let's see, the mentally handicapped, the morbidly obese, unruly children, crying babies, amputees, big-bosomed women with revealing tops, people with unnatural hair colors, people with mohawks, people with bad acne, people who slouch, pick their noses, kiss in public, have revealing tattoos or face piercings? Yes, all potentially disturbing -- but simply looking away or ignoring it will solve this "offense."

Instead, they should be giving fines and jail time to those who think it's their right to impose their morality on no-harm situations through the use of physical force.

Thanks for the post, Mike!