CROWLEY, LA — Residents of Crowley beware: your sense of “fashion” could get you in trouble with the law.
As of midnight on Friday, Sept. 13, law enforcement will not hesitate to issue a citation to those who are in violation of the new “Saggy Pants Ordinance.” Those who break this controversial law will face a possible fine of $200, or a prison sentence up to 60 days.
“The wearing of sagging outer clothing below the waist exposing the undergarments of the wearer has become a public nuisance…,” states the ordinance. “The practice of wearing outer clothing sagging below the waist is not identified or associated with free speech or expression or serves a public purpose…”
If you want to wear your pants low, you’re going to have to do it at home under the cover of darkness with the blinds to your window closed, according to the new law.
“Any place, parcel, site, lot, tract, servitude, right of way or property, whether publicly or privately owned, which is accessible and open to the public at any time for any purpose whatsoever and shall include any part of private property or private residences which may be openly viewed from other property and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy,” the law states.
Similar laws have been passed in cities across the nation, including several locations throughout Louisiana. Prior to Crowley, Terrebonne Parish adopted the ordinance, but received some criticism from the New Orleans chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU protested the ordinance stating that it could lead to racial profiling. The organization argued that the clothing style is typically associated with young African-American males, and the enforcement of the law would be disproportionately target a particular group of people as a way of being singled out by law enforcement.
Despite opposition, Terrebonne Parish adopted the law, which was passed back in April 2013.