Posted June 15, 2007 – Wearing baggy pants that hang off the butt can get you a $500 fine and up to six months in jail in one tiny Louisiana town.
Carol Broussard, mayor of the Delcambre, on Louisiana’s central Gulf Coast, told The Associated Press that people who indulge in such an “indecent” fashion statement “are better off taking off the pants and just wearing a dress.”
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The new law states, "It shall be unlawful for any person in any public place or in view of the public to be found in a state of nudity, or partial nudity, or in dress not becoming to his or her sex, or in any indecent exposure of his or her person or undergarments, or be guilty of any indecent or lewd behavior."
The law applies to women as well as men, the mayor said Wednesday. "If you expose some of your privates, the crack of your behind, if somebody feels insulted they should press charges. If you're offended by it, we want to straighten that out."
But some say the new law is really targeting African Americans, since the saggy slacks are more of a hip-hop fashion statement. Broussard denied any racial motivation saying, "White people wear sagging pants, too. Anybody who wears these pants should be held responsible."
Although Delcambre Councilman Albert Roy, who is Black, introduced the ordinance, but says the proposed $500 fine is over the top.
"I think it should be something like $25," Roy said.
Ted Ayo, the lawyer for the small town east of New Orleans, said the new law adds underwear to the list of what must not be revealed under state indecent exposure laws.
"This is a new ordinance that deals specifically with sagging pants," Mr Ayo said. "It's about showing off your underwear.”
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