Better pull ‘em up

Published 11:24pm Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If your pants drag the ground and you show skin or underwear, you’ll likely get a ticket in the future.

The Selma City Council voted Tuesday by a five-to-two margin to approve an ordinance banning sagging pants in the city, making an offense punishable by fine.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Jackson made an appearance during the meeting, telling council members he believes a law on the books would make people feel freer to tell young people to pull up their pants.

Jackson said he recently attended a job fair at Wallace Community College and asked students how they expected to get a job with their pants dragging the ground.

The ordinance passed by the council is similar to one used by Demopolis and several other Alabama cities. Some council members raised issues of enforcement.

“The ordinance’s enforcement will require common sense,” Jackson said. “If you walk around and see underwear and skin, the pants are too low.”

Councilman Samuel Randolph of Ward 5 was most vocal against the ordinance.

“I thing the ordinance is close to racial profiling, geared toward minority kids,” he said.

The ordinance says pants worn by any person, regardless of age, in public should not fall more than three inches below the hips.

If a juvenile violates the law, the parent or legal guardian will be cited and subject to a fine of a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $100 for each offense. The court cost will be waived, but the court may also order 10-to-20 hours of community service.

If an adult is in violation of the ordinance, that person should receive a citation and could face a minimum fine of $25 and a maximum fine of $200 for each offense. The court costs will be waived, but the court could order the person found guilty to 10-to-40 hours of community service.

The ordinance specifies that a citation for violating the sagging pants ordinance is not a criminal offense to there’s no arrest or imprisonment for violators.

  • D-Man

    bamasaban: wow. you freedom foundation people have no conscious

  • smallville
  • whatthe

    I think the ordinance is stupid. I don’t like sagging pants. I think it looks ridiculous and I laugh when I see someone wearing their pants like that. BUT, it doesn’t have an affect on me. I JUST DON’T LOOK AT THEM. For the love of pete! There is so much more bad in this world that sagging pants don’t rank anywhere on my list of Things That Should Be Controlled By The Government. But, if we’re going here, what about the women that wear their shirts cut so low you don’t even need an imagination to wonder what is under there? To me, *that* is much more offensive!!

    • Auburn_Fan

      Oh yes, because I really want to walk around the city I grew up in and see a bunch of punks showing off their underwear.

      It’s demeaning. No one is saying you can’t sag. You’re just going to be getting a ticket for doing so.

      If you want to enforce the big laws, sometimes you gotta start with the small ones.

      • whatthe

        Auburn_Fan: Really? You can’t turn your head and not pay attention to the “punks” sagging in the city you grew up in?

        I guess my life isn’t boring enough for me to look around at what others are doing and worry about it. Well, sagging anyway. It’s such a non-issue that it makes me laugh that we actually have this ordinance in place.

  • time12munny

    this is great. i’m a black female. i’m tired of seeing guys’ boxers up the crack of their you know what. it’s not cute. it’s not sexy. it’s ignorance. it’s pitiful. it’s tasteless.

  • pleasureme

    This is a great thing. It will be so nice to see people looking better dressed. If you knew how stupid you looked you would want to dress better. Nothing like seeing a goodlooking man dressed with his clothes fitting him! Thank you!

  • 80sBaby

    This is very interesting. are police officers going to walk around with tape measures to determine who gets a ticket and who does not. I am sure that the majority of the police officers will find this absurd. an accident occured today when an officer was responding to a robbery. Will more accidents occur when police officers “WHIP” across lanes and streets just because they see somebody walking down the street with sagging pants??? LORD HELP US!!!

  • Pantherettie

    What a waste of time and energy. How about enforcing the laws regarding indecency and looking the other way when people wear something that is unattractive and/or offensive. What Selma needs right now, after reporting an median income of less than $25,000 per household, is another stupid ordinance to ticket people who don’t have the desire or plan to pay it anyway. Brilliant. By the way, what kind of journalist titles a story this way? Where’s the editor or at least the publisher to prevent this type of silly writing……

  • tonewah

    Stupid ordinance. There are already city ordinances about exposing yourself, just enforce those. Wasting time passing an ordinance regarding fashion, of all things, is utter nonsense… and literally a crime itself. No one cares about rights, anymore. It’s all about forcing others to do what you want, plain and simple, regardless of anyone’s rights.

  • yellowroseofTexas

    Yes, if Mr. Randolph assumes only blacks sags their pants, he is guilty of racial profiling himself. Talking outloud, you have good points!
    I was in Wal-Mart a few years ago when a woman (white)wearing a two-piece bathing suit entered the store. She did not even have a cover-up on. Eveyone around me was shocked. I thought what is next. If she had common sense, she certainly wasn’t using it.

  • KBlack

    I don’t live in Selma but I am glad to see this ordinance. Now, Camden and other cities and towns need to follow suit,truely, this needs to be a national ordinance. I don’t understand how Sam Randolph sees this as racial profiling as whites,hispanics and other races are also wearing thier pants around thier knees.
    I for one, is in favor of this ordinance as one of last things I want to see is someones asp hanging out of thier pants (they need to pass another for the females for the short skirts,shorts that thier butt cheeks are exposed and extremely low cut tops exposing thier breast to the point that anything is barely covered). Where is the respect to others, thier values and morals, what is this teaching the future generations? How to they expect to get a decent job or be accepted in to a University, they wont, simply because of thier apperance.
    As a society, we should dress not only to respect others but, ourselves.

  • fleecing foundation

    How is it that making these idiots pull their pants up from hanging down to their knees in public “racial profiling”? SO are you saying that the only people too stupid to pull their pants up are blacks? That’s what I’m hearing. So basically, Sam Randolph is assuming that blacks are the only ones with their pants to their knees AND are the only ones capable of this. If it’s not, someone please explain to me what he means and how this is racial profiling.

  • jerry.dixon21

    I see a lot of white kids wear PJ’S in the mall. Nothing showing though, thats what happen when the people dont get out and vote. The when they come up with a law that you dont like, all of a sudden, YOU HAVE A VOICE. black people, this is just the begining, watch out.

  • talkingoutloud

    Why do black leaders want to keep the very people they represent down. When anyone in society sees these young people wearing their pants below their butt they automatically think thug or gang member. Nothing positive. Even if it is towards young black people (which it isn’t) don’t the black leaders want the young people to be respected. No one will ever respect any young person with their pants hanging down. I am a social worker and I tell these young men that no one will ever respect them wearing their clothes like that. Sad thing is some of these young people could be in college but NO one is every going to be thinking that if they look like that. Everyone needs to help these kids learn self respect. This is a young person problem. I see all races and ethnic groups wear their pants like this. Now we need to teach young women to quit wearing pants that look like a second skin and shirt so tight and revealing they are falling out of them. Parents, guardians, youth pastors and workers need to be teaching these kids about self respect. I think this ordiance is a start.

  • Bama1234567

    Leave it to Samuel Randolph to use the race card as an excuse, BRC would have too if she had bothered to show up to do what she is paid to do. These two are a joke and hopefully in the next election we will be rid of them since neither of them no how to resign and get lost.

  • Hugh Jorgan

    The sale of suspenders is going to SKYROCKET I tell ya, it’s the best Selma businesss opportunity.

  • LibertyBelle

    Again I say:

    Everything can be broken down into two categories:
    1) a Crime – anything that DOES violate the right to life, liberty and/or property of another.
    2) a Right – anything that dose NOT violate the right to life, liberty and/or property of another.

    The very rights that you are so willing to take from someone else will, eventually will be the very ones you are fighting for.

    Once a door is opened, it is very hard to close it. – Get involved.

    • LibertyBelle

      Oops… *does

    • smallville

      AMEN Liberty!!!!

      I honestly do not like the pants hanging down, either. But how I FEEL about something doesn’t make it a law.

    • whatthe

      This. Yes, this.

  • fleecing foundation


  • fleecing foundation

    Let me take a WILD guess to who voted against it. Maybe the same people on the council that see nothing wrong with Selma being the top 3rd unemployed County in Alabama, the top 3rd poverty stricken County in the State, and 25+ percent unemployment. But what they will worry , fret and obsess over is whether Cecil Williamson supports his Southern Heritage. If it takes a city government to pass a law like this just to get idiots to pull their pants up, then so be it. I wish they would pass more laws to make these boils on Selma’s back more responsible to themeselves, their community, their families, their children, etc, etc. If you don’t won’t the government in your business, THEN DO WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO!!!! Like pull your pants up above your knees.

  • e1948eas

    Thanks Council for at least trying to get the attention of the Ignorant Fools …….. oops they didn’t get it,for, their attention span is too short. Small brains.

  • smallville

    Wonder if this made the AP newswire? I would have laughed myself silly if I saw this about Selma and lived somewhere else!!

  • laseronpoint

    This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of in my entire life. This is an issue for parents to deal with not the city council or any other government entity. What is next folks. What happens if Mr Jackson suddenly doesn’t like coveralls in public? Or, If someone decides to get the ACLU to take Selma to court over this since it is clearly unconstitutional to tell someone how to dress if it is not indecent by conventional standards. Can Selma afford to fight it?
    Do not get me wrong, I think it looks bad and dumb but it is not up to me to tell someone else how to dress if the are covered. If you stop to think about it if someone is wearing a pair of gym shorts it is the same as wearing their boxer shorts. Yet some of you are saying that gym shorts would be OK but the boxer shorts would not be.

    • bama

      Selma is not the first city to do this. Public indencency is already against the law. I guess these punks like looking like tricks.

    • POPDUKES12

      Confusing and stupid isn’t it. Ten times out of ten times they have on colored boxers anyway. Mr. Jackson only helped design this bill. It wasn’t his idea. The ladies of the council (Newton in particular) came up with this and hell, she’s leaving town next month. Atkinson and Keith sounded like they could “take or leave” the issue and Randolph and Benjamin voted against it (Tucker and BRC weren’t there). I really feel that if Tucker and BRC had been there it would never have passed. Someone will challenge it or it will just fade away. popdukes12

      • tonewah

        Good points, POP.


    If the young ladies would demand “respect” and not allow these guys around them when their pants are falling off, you wouldn’t need this ordinance (which by the way, I don’t agree with). pops

  • PercyMarsh

    Hallelujah !!! Way to go Selma City Council !! It was about time somebody done something about these blooming idiot’s and thier saggin britches !!! I say arrest them all, throw em in jail and show them who’s boss beause it aint the thugs and wannabe pimps n dope dealer’s !! I cant say how pleased I really am about this ! Yippeee !!! Score one for the home team !!!

  • alabamaWOW

    Amen!!! About time. It is disgusting to look at a nasty butt or underwear no thanks. I get tired of seeing men/boys grabbing there pants to pull them up and even worse some grab them up in the front. It is disgrace to gender! Pull you pants up better yet don’t buy then 4 sizes to big.

  • N L

    sorry, I don’t see where there is any “racial profiling” here. I’ve seen equally stupid white kids with their behinds hanging out. Disgusting to look at. If anybody or anything is being “profiled’ it’s the brain-dead who follow every fad that comes along.
    I am a bit disturbed, tho, that the city feels it can tell us what we can wear, altho I guess this one does come under the heading of “indecent exposure.”
    Wish somebody had come up with legislating out an equally stupid ‘fashion” a few years ago of walking around with pacifiers either dangling around necks or sucking on them. LOL
    Young people will never be models of taste and good judgement, but I see ‘way too many people aping this fad who should be old enough to know better.
    Kind of brings new meaning to the term “crack-house”……

  • D-Man

    I can see both sides of this.

    Freedom of expression and a government engaging in what people can and can’t wear.

    But if there’s a real potential of violence, and gangs truly flash “colors” then, well maybe..

    I know there are a lot of bigger issues out there. maybe this one should be for parents and teachers to tell just tell the kids your chances of getting a decent job or getting respect greatly diminishes with sagging pants.

  • lightenup

    Why would you want to go around holding up your pants all day? That is the dumbest fad I’ve see yet. Can we get any more ridiculous! Oh yeah… wearing meat for clothes. Yikes!

  • jon

    Now ,when we go out to shop like at wal-mart,who will enforce the new law inside the stores ? i can see the people wearing them below there butts now,a big argument or some kind of scene.sad enough you gotta say would you pull your pants up so my wife and daughters here dont have to see your “bleep”.buts its way past time for it to be said.PULL YOUR PANTS UP..


    Plumbers of Selma beware, this goes for you too. I must say that this ordinance will never stand up to a challenge. When asked directly about this, Mr. Jackson did more tap dancing than a politician and never directly answered the question. While voting against it, Ms. Benjamin added “not in it’s current form”. Sorry Anglia, that wasn’t an option. This ordinance will fade away as the fad runs It’s course. The ordinance to bag all leaves will have a far greater impact when councilwoman Keith starts enforcing it after the first of the year. popdukes12

  • bama

    They need to get that “pants on the ground” guy from American Idol in Selma.

  • bama

    Do these kids not realize that the saggin pants style was started by gay “down-low brothers”? A couple of rappers copied it and they think it is cool? I laugh at every kid I see drooping their pants as they are too ignorant to even realize the message they are sending.

  • perdidle

    At least they have the law on the books now. Yesterday they (SPD) couldn’t have done anything if they wanted to. Now at least they can should the reason arise.

  • imclean

    Let’s try “HANDS UP, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST,” first. How is the SPD going to enforce this when they don’t even work armed robbery complaints. Seems the Citys priorities are backwards when the City Council will devote the majority of their time tearing down houses and not addressing the real concerns of its citizens, which is public safety. Leave the pants down issue to the schools and the parents because the City sure won’t enforce it.

    • Nina

      My friend was involved in an attempted robbery as she was making a night deposit. As the perp was running away he was slowed considerably due to his fashion statement sagging pants.

      I say, let em sag…it’s good for public safety sometimes.

  • sean_m_2004

    i agree with this ordinance. i believe it will be a great thing for selma. and, i’m sick and tired of seeing underwear and buttcrack everytime i go to a gas station or the grocery store. well done city council. well done.

  • iwanttoknow

    As I do agree with this ordinance, although I wonder how they will enforce it. We cannot enforce a noise ordinance, cars parked in front yards, or even collect garbage fees to the tune of $200K overdue.

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  • e1948eas

    Randolph is so stupid and never has anything to offer,so why speak when others are grasping at straws to do something positive. If it’s racial, then it’s only that one race that does it and I see all races butts showing,although most are black. Sit down and shut up Randoplh , unless you are telling us that you , Bennie Ruth, Leashore are paying the Waterworks back and get to the meetings on time. If you can’t ,then quit.

  • 80sBaby

    keep the offensive language to yourself.

  • concernedcitizen

    I am not sure why your comment was allowed to stay on because that is a racist remark. You didn’t spell it out, but we know what you mean.

  • D-Man

    this is probably a freedom foundation influenced person trying to stir up controversy.


    Not good, someone will see it.

  • D-Man

    you freedom foundation idiots are dispicable

  • 80sBaby

    once again you make anothe comment that is uncalled for and needs to be removed

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