Attention, baggy pant pundits — do not get caught with your jeans below your waist in the town of Ocala, Florida. Why? Because it is officially punishable by jail time. According to The Ocala Star Banner, the Ocala City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday to pass an ordinance that makes it illegal for people to wear their pants "two inches below their natural waist in a way that exposes underwear or bare buttocks."
In case you were wondering about the specifics, underwear is defined as "any piece of clothing worn between the skin and an outer layer of clothing" and the buttock will be considered exposed if "any portion of a person's intergluteal cleft is showing." FYI, intergluteal means situated between the buttcheeks, soooo yeah, they're talkin' about butt crack.
This isn't the first time this subject matter has been brought up by the city council. In 2009, members did not second the motion on the ordinance due to concerns that it would lead to racial profiling. But this time around, the councilwoman Mary Rich insists that it has nothing to do with race. "It doesn't matter what color they are. They all wear their pants down," said Rich.
So, how are officers supposed to judge whether someone's pants are too low? Smartphone photos. "If they don't comply, I think the chief will tell police officers to take your phone out and take a picture," said City Attorney Patrick Gilligan. The judge will then make the final decision and the offense second-degree misdemeanor.
The recently instated ordinance is enforceable on all city-owned or leased property, from city sidewalks, streets and parks to bicycle paths, public transportation facilities and airports.
Teacher Howard Gunn disagrees with the recent ruling. After working in Marion county for 22 years, Gunn has seen his fair share of saggy pants, but doesn't think this is the best way to deal with the problem. "Most of these kids you are dealing with are ones that have probably been in jail or are going to jail. A lot of times they are going through things. And we slap this on them, they are going to go further."
According to Fashionista, Ocala joins a growing list of other cities that are banning low-hanging pants, including Wildwood, New Jersey, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, and Pikeville, Tennessee. However, Ocala is taking things more seriously. While other cities will only fine violators $50, Ocala's convicted pant saggers will be fined up to $500 or six months in jail.