Community Group Wants Sagging Pants Banned

The Empowered Citizens of North Lawndale want the indecent exposure ordinance amended, and baggy pants deemed offensive.

By Alise Blunk
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 10:42 AM CDT
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Saggy Pants Crackdown?

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Is wearing sagging pants a crime? Members of a North Lawndale community group say it's offensive to the public and want the fashion statement banned.

The Empowered Citizens of North Lawndale are asking that the Chicago indecent exposure ordinance be amended to include a fine of $200 for all who wear pants or skirts three inches or lower than the top of the hip.

Lynwood was the first Chicago suburb to enact the ban in 2008. In March, Sauk Village outlawed pants that hang more than four inches off the hip, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP have said the ban is a form of racial profiling and a violation of free speech.

The Chicago suburbs of Evanston and Midlothian have also considered the ban. Last year, Evanston attempted to pass a ban that would fine people up to $750 for wearing pants that were too low.

The debate continues on whether the ordinance is constitutional and people should be forced to "pull up their pants." During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama addressed the issue and told MTV what he felt about the low-pants ban.

"There are some issues that we face," said Obama, "that you don't have to pass a law, but that doesn't mean folks can't have some sense and some respect for other people, and you know, some people might not want to see your underwear — I'm one of them."
 

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