CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - On a nearly unanimous vote, the Caddo Parish Commission banned on Thursday the wearing of saggy pants parish wide.
The ban affects unincorporated areas and rural areas because Shreveport has its own ordinance, says Commissioner Matthew Linn, who cast the only nay vote on the ordinance. The vote was 10-1.
The commission recently passed a resolution that would ban the wearing of sagging pants in stores, but the commission on Thursday passed an ordinance, which is law.
Commissioner Michael Williams, who has pushed for the ban for some time, says he's "very excited" about the ban.
Williams says he feels that this new ordinance, along with a gentlemen's etiquette class that he's trying to bring to Shreveport, will give direction to young men in society who didn't have the benefit of learning basic social skills at home.
These are the new rules, according to the ordinance:
- It will be illegal for anyone to appear in public wearing pants below the waist, exposing the skin or undergarments.
- Anyone who is caught by law enforcement officers breaking the law will be given a ticket and a summons to appear in court. A violation is not grounds for arrest or for a full search of the person cited.
- The penalty for a person convicted of violating the ordinance is a fine that is not to exceed $100 and up to one eight-hour day picking up trash or refuse or performing other court-approved community service activities.
- A second offense is punishable by a fine up to $150 and up to two eight-hour days picking up trash or refuse or some other type of community service.
- Three or more offenses gets a fine up to $250 and up to two eight-hour days picking up trash or refuse or some other type of community service.
The rules mimic a sagging pants ordinance passed in the City of Shreveport in 2007.
A Shreveport Police Department news released issued back then quoted a city attorney saying that "the ordinance is not intended or designed to target young black males. It is intended to target one particular type of person – those who wear their pants below their waist so that it exposes their back side or underwear in public."
The release continued: "Citizens are asked to 'police themselves' by reminding offenders of the new ordinance and by making it a point to set the example and abide by the law."