Main | Thursday, July 10, 2008

Crack Attack

Flint, Michigan is cracking (heh) down on saggy pants.
Flint residents now have to watch their butts because Police Chief David Dicks is on the lookout. Dicks, who took over the department last month on an interim basis, announced that his officers would start arresting people wearing saggy pants that expose skivvies, boxer shorts or bare bottoms.

"Some people call it a fad," Dicks told the Free Press this week while patrolling the streets of Flint. "But I believe it's a national nuisance. It is indecent and thus it is indecent exposure, which has been on the books for years." On June 27, the chief issued a departmental memorandum telling officers: "This immoral self expression goes beyond freedom of expression."

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. 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.

The American Civil Liberties Union is already scrutinizing the enforcement, something Dicks fully expected. But he said he's not backing down until the pants stop falling down.
I suppose it's mildly amusing that the chief of police behind this is named Dicks. Here in NYC, I've seen young men with their belts painfully cinched across their upper thighs in order to show off a properly "cool" amount of boxer short. Many years ago in Miami, I remember a mall cop telling some kid: "You know that you look retarded, right? As in, actually mentally disabled?" Supposedly the fad got started in prisons, where belts are not allowed.

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