The ordinance, which went in to effect in 2007 and was toughened three years ago, fines men who publicly wear sagging pants and expose their undergarments.
Now, lawmakers in the small city, which touts a population of about 15,000, have added females to the existing sagging pants ordinance because its commissioner, Dorothy Jackson, was tired of seeing women around her town exposing themselves.
Jackson, who sponsored the addition to the ordinance, contends, “I heard a little boy say, ‘Mommy, pull your pants up. That man is looking at you.’ Your son is telling you this, and she didn’t see anything wrong with it.”
Consequently, those around Opa-Locka who feel the need to walk around showing off their underwear will pay a $500 fine or dedicate themselves to doing 25 hours of community service. The sentence is determined via a hearing by the city’s code enforcement department or city magistrate.
Law enforcement in Opa-Locka, which was the first city to initiate a sagging pants ordinance, has reportedly ticketed some 72 of its residents this year for breaking the sagging pants law.
So: is it fair to regulate a fashion choice? This morning on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, a caller to the show, named Dot, put it this way when the question was posed to her: “I feel like if they can put up a sign on a restaurant and say ‘you must have a shirt on,’ what’s wrong with them putting up a sign saying ‘no sag?’”
Hear what else she, Martin and NewsOne Now‘s Ebony McMorris had to say about the ordinance, in the clip below.