In Flint, Michigan, Police Chief David Dicks is cracking down on sagging pants. Indecent exposure has spiraled out of control and he will not stand for loose pants in his town.
Dicks took over the Pontiac police department last month on an interim basis and declared that the city offices would start arresting people who sag their pants and expose skivvies, boxer shorts or bare bottoms.
“This immoral self expression goes beyond freedom of expression,” Dicks stated in a memo to his officers last month.
Dicks and his officers are driving around town issuing warnings to men with their pants too low. They are asking the men to spread the word about keeping their pants up before the officers start handing out misdemeanors and arresting individuals. Also, with pants as low as they are, officers have probable cause to search for drugs, weapons and other crime relation items.
Chief Dicks says the crime of the sagging pants fad is disorderly conduct or indecent exposure. Both of these misdemeanors are “punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and/or fines up to $500.” freep.comDicks...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.
The public has mixed opinions of the new instated rules. Senita Abrams, 18, of Flint, said, “I think it’s cute when boys sag.” Saneka Nichols, 32, of Flint disagrees. “The sagging is out of control,” she said. “It went from a style to a disruption. The chief has a good idea. I’m not saying people should go to jail, but maybe they should do community service. If you don’t want to pick up your pants, pick up for the neighborhood. How’s that sound?”
The American Civil Liberties Union has already expressed concerns about the mandate. Dicks had expected this, but he will not shy away from his fight for decency.
Flint is not the first city to try and ban sagging. Pontiac, Auburn Hills and Atlanta have also tried.
Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley hopes Dicks will go after indecent girls as well.
One can only hope that other police chiefs will follow suit and the next crackdown will focus on well the crack down -- the awful trend of wearing thongs with low-cut pants. And my hope is that Dicks challenges the girls next, forcing the first positive cover-up in this state -- ever.
Let’s hope this not-so-new ruling can clean up Flint and filter out to other cities without creating too much havoc.