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Alderman Wants To Ban Sagging Pants in St. Louis

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The sagging pants trend took off in the 1990s, largely fueled by hip-hop artists. Today, it is common in both black and white communities to see men with pants cinched below their buttocks with exposed underwear. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The sagging pants trend took off in the 1990s, largely fueled by hip-hop artists. Today, it is common in both black and white communities to see men with pants cinched below their buttocks with exposed underwear. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Election Returns

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – 19th Ward alderwoman Marlene Davis has seen enough of “sagging pants.”

“It is just criminal! When you open your door and walk down the street and this is all you can see!”

Davis wants to add “sagging pants” to the city’s lewd and indecent conduct ordinance, punishable by fines and jail time.

At a public forum Thursday night in north St. Louis her idea didn’t get the intended response.

“If we already know we’re going to jail, we mys well commit robberies, steal cars, and do all that other stuff,” said one teen. “If we’re already going to jail just because our pants are down, then what else can they lock us up for?”

Criminal justice professor Norman White said he wouldn’t be in favor of making it a crime to get caught with sagging pants. He said it would create another reason for young black males to be stopped on the street and locked up.

One attendee suggested instead of fines or jail time as a deterrent, perhaps hours of community service could be given to those caught violating such an ordinance.

Davis said she wants to wage this war on sagging pants to grab the attention of the community and hopefully get them to fight for the children the city is losing.

Another forum is set for next week at Long School on Morgan Ford.

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