Florida city repeals ‘saggy pants’ ban that targeted black men

They’re leaving the previous behind.

A city in south Florida has overturned its “saggy pants” ban from 2007, with officers saying it disproportionately targeted black men.

The City Commission in Opa-locka voted 4-1 Wednesday to repeal the laws affecting men, in addition to a 2013 ordinance that mentioned ladies may be subjected to a civil quotation for carrying pants that uncovered their underwear, the Miami Herald reported.

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

The repeal needs to be accredited once more at a subsequent fee assembly earlier than it’s official. But the primary studying was co-sponsored by 4 of 5 commissioners, the paper famous.

Signs are nonetheless posted across the city, northwest of Miami, warning folks of the ordinance that “bans the wearing of saggy pants apparel in Opa-locka city parks and buildings.”

“No ifs, ands or butts … it’s the city law!” the signal reads, with a picture of two younger men with their pants hanging beneath their waists.

Mayor Matthew Pigatt needs the indicators eliminated.

“It’s long overdue and they need to go,” he mentioned. “They’re an eyesore in the city.”

It’s unclear how usually the legislation — which doled out $250 in fines — was enforced or how a lot money was collected in fines over time, the Herald reported.

When it was modified in November 2013, city officers mentioned 72 tickets had been issued to date that 12 months.

Fines had been doubled to $500 in 2013, with violators alternatively threatened with 25 hours of neighborhood service.

When the laws was handed, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida ripped it as a “ridiculous waste of public resources,” saying it could “impose overly harsh penalties for victimless behavior.” The ACLU additionally mentioned blacks can be disproportionately affected.

The ACLU cheered the steps towards official repeal.

“Criminalizing the way someone wears their clothing serves no one. Similar ordinances have been pursued across the country and have only yielded heightened racial profiling by police and increased racial disparities in the criminal justice system,” the group instructed the Herald.

“It is an affront to the constitutional principles of fairness, free expression, and due process of law,” the assertion mentioned. “We’re glad the commissioners voted to repeal this ordinance. Our local leaders should be looking at ways to end discriminatory practices, not embolden them.”


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