Saggin’ squeaks by

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Council seeks ways to hitch up youths’ britches



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Saggin’ in Selma got by Monday night by the seat of, well, its britches as city attorney Jimmy Nunn researches the issue.

Nunn told council members he couldn’t find a single city in Alabama with a law that kept young people from wearing their pants and showing skin or shorts, a fashion fad known as &8220;saggin’.&8221;

The practice has been linked to prisons, where inmates aren’t allowed to wear belts. Most youths who have adopted the fashion wear belts, but allow their pants to drop far below the waist.

Nunn said Atlanta has an ordinance under consideration, but that body has yet to vote on it.

Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw wants Nunn to see if the council might amend the city’s existing laws on indecent exposure to include the low-riding trousers &045; some that hang beneath the hips, leaving little to the imagination but colorful boxers.

Delcambre, La., has an ordinance that comes under its indecent exposure laws, Nunn said. The southern Louisiana city of about 2,200 people passed an ordinance recently that carries a fine up to $500 or six months in jail for exposing underwear in public.

A similar law in Shreveport, La., went into effect last month. In Shreveport, if someone is convicted he or she faces a maximum fine of $100 and up to one working day of trash pick-up or other community service approved by the court.

Conviction of a second offense carries with it two working days of community service and a $150 fine. Subsequent convictions carry a fine of $250 and four working days of community service, according to officials in that city.

The American Civil Liberties Union is coming out against specific legislation against saggin’, Nunn told the council. Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, has already called Atlanta’s considered measure as another way to racially profile people.

At least one councilman, Johnnie Leashore wants to take a &8220;wait and see approach&8221; to the issue. Final public bond hearing set Monday.