July 11, 2008, - 11:31 am

Boy, Do I Feel For the Police: More on Saggy Pants Ordinances and Why We Need Them

By Debbie Schlussel
Yesterday, I posted a funny diagram of what is and isn’t allowed, ahem, under a saggy pants ordinance now being enforced in Flint, Michigan. And, as I said, I’m all for these ordinances. If you can’t cover up your underwear, don’t go outside.
Well, I’ve heard a lot from readers about this. Reader Bill sent this video, which I think is a very good demonstration of why we need these ordinances and why I feel for the police on this:

Apparently, the ACLU–which opposes the saggy pants ordinances–doesn’t think it’s a biggie that police have to touch criminals’, um, well, if you watched the video, you know . . . .
Another reader, a former police officer writes:

As a former cop I just thought I’d write to let you know where this mode of dress began. PRISON!!!
It started when prison staff began taking away colored hats, jackets, shirts, and bandanas from inmates who were showing they’re gang affiliation. Since they could no longer wear those items they wore colored underwear and allowed their pants to sag.
When those inmates were released they continued the tradition (and I use that word loosely) on the streets.
Of course, the wanna-be (and a lot of real life) thugs in the rap/hip-hop business immediately picked up on this mode of dress to help improve their “street-cred.” This helped it move more mainstream via the impressionable youth who listen to that form of music.
Interestingly enough, back when I was still on patrol, the baggy-saggy pants helped me out, much to the chagrin of several people I was in a foot pursuit with. It’s really hard to outrun a police officer when your pants keep slipping to your ankles as you run.


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6 Responses

I don’t think this is a matter of the police doing what people should be doing themselves. Its too bad its come to that in this country. My point is decent behavior should come from a person’s character – not the law – and yes, that includes to quote the biblical phrasing, to “cover up one’s nakedness” in public. I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about old fashioned courtesy, which seems to be a dying custom these days. Is that too much to expect from people to dress appropriately in this society?

NormanF on July 11, 2008 at 12:06 pm

I saw one of them underwear while filling the tank the other day.
I thought maybe that fella was using them to store extra gas.
But when I saw him pulling his pants a bit up to his butt cheeks, I realized that gas prices were still affordable to some people.
I rushed to leave the gas station. I didn’t want to take any chances. You never know what’s hiding beneath those draws.

Independent Conservative on July 11, 2008 at 12:32 pm

How could his deal be way up there if its so cold outside? I think the guy is just putting himself over.

Hopewell on July 11, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I can’t help but crack up a little when people think that we shouldn’t have “clothes” police and they often try to compare it to the likes of iran. I tell them you can’t even compare this to places like iran who beat and arrest women for showing their hair. It should not be hard to cover up your undergarmets and butt. We’ve always had decency laws and showing one’s underwear/butt is not decent.
People who dress like this are narcissists and really could careless that others don’t want to see their butt or undies.

diaphanous on July 11, 2008 at 5:19 pm

When they came for the people wearing baggy pants, I said nothing, because I don’t wear baggy pants. When they came for the poofy underwear-wearers, still I said nothing, because I’m no poofy underwear-wearer. Then, when they came for paisley shirts, and I looked around, there was no one left to help. Think about it.

John Harper on July 13, 2008 at 8:07 pm

“Colored underwear”? Really?

What I was told is that jail wardens actually took away prisoners’ belts so that they wouldn’t hang themselves!

Mike on January 9, 2011 at 9:07 am

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