Community asks for Albany’s saggy pants ordinance to come to an end

Community asks for Albany’s saggy pants ordinance to come to an end
Some want to end the saggy pants ordinance. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Community activists say a saggy pants ordinance is contributing to racism in Albany.

Right now, if your pants are significantly below your waist, it could cost you.

Because of a saggy pants ordinance, if you’re out in Albany, you’ll either have to tighten your belt or loosen your wallet.

And 10 years after the ordinance was passed, community members are still fighting to end it.

A community activist wants the Albany City Commission to end its "saggy pants" ordinance. Passed in 2010, James Pratt,...

Posted by WALB News 10 on Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The saggy pants ordinance was passed by city commissioners in 2010.

The ordinance bans anyone from wearing pants or skirts more than three inches below the top of the hips, exposing the skin or undergarments.

If your pants are sagging, you could be fined $25 for the first offense

Albany State University professor and community activist, James Pratt, Jr., is asking commissioners to end the ordinance.

He argues it's a fashion statement, particularly worn by African-American males.

He said targeting the community that wears their pants sagged only contributes to a problem, Pratt calls, institutional racism in Albany.

ASU professor and community member, James Pratt, Jr.
ASU professor and community member, James Pratt, Jr. (Source: WALB)

"We know that when there’s a disproportionate impact on black males, particular with negative interactions with our police officers, you break down the culture of trust and those relationships, particularly with police and community policing that is often talked about and is necessary in the City of Albany, " said Pratt.

Commissioners said they are interested in continuing a conversation with Pratt to potentially end the ordinance.

According to minutes from commission meetings held in 2010, the ordinance was originally passed to enforce public indecency statutes.

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