Understatement of this blog: Flint police have their hands full.
According Flint Crime Statistics and Data for 2006, the number of violent crimes in Flint is 469% greater than the national average. (2596.1 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Flint versus 553.5 per 100,000 people nationally.) Of those violent crimes, 54 were murders, 143 were rapes, 627 were robberies, and 2246 were aggravated assaults. (Compared to 6 murders, 105, rapes, 262 robberies, and 800 aggravated assaults in Lansing, for those interested.)
Despite these alarming figures, recent action seems to indicate that the police department could use a heavier work load. Police Chief David Dicks has proposed that “Fashion Patrol” be added to their job description. The style in question: sagging pants.
While already considered a fashion faux pas by some, Dicks takes disliking the buttock-baring-low-riders to a new level stating that: “This immoral ‘self expression’ goes beyond freedom of expression; it rises to the crime of indecent exposure/disorderly persons.”
But really, what are they going to do if you decide to cruise around the beautiful downtown Flint in your beloved baggy bottoms? Well, if Dicks gets his way, the punishment for such “immoral self expression” would be no laughing matter: a fine of $500 and up to three months in jail.
Investing in a belt could be worth it.
Seriously though, I find this measure to be a little on the crazy side of insane. Add it to the ever growing list of pointless and unenforceable political/legal initiatives.
Perhaps Dicks is simply trying to draw attention to the issue. If that is the case, he has been successful, seeing as I heard about this on the radio, read about it online, and am now writing about it. However, getting people to talk about baggy pants isn’t quite the same as getting people to rethink their fashion sensibilities.
There has been an outcry, of course, that the measure is meant to target young black men. The Flint Police Department is racist because they want people to pull their pants up. Take it for what it’s worth.
Additionally, it seems that there is some confusion over what qualifies as sagging pants. Some quotes refer to baring of skin (which is already prosecutable as indecent exposure, so why would they need…) while others refer to baring of underwear/boxers.
Not sure where you are going with this, Flint.
*random fact related to this post – In the prison sector, sagging your pants is considered a statement of homosexuality.