Skip to main content

The Link Between Sagging Pants Laws and the Drug War

Submitted by smorgan on
Radley Balko points out that police in Flint, MI have started going after people whose pants sag below their boxer shorts:

Leaving aside the absurdity of telling people how to wear their pants, just contemplate the ironic path that brought us here. The style itself is an artifact of prison culture, where inmates' belts and shoelaces are confiscated and the standard-issue clothes never fit right. The style made its way back onto the streets where it entered popular culture. Now, in 2008, you can go to jail for 93 days to a year just for dressing like an inmate.

In an urban landscape already ravaged by decades of racial profiling and drug war demolition tactics, police have codified their own authority to stop and frisk people whose style of dress is already stigmatized by presumed criminality. The number of things young people in America can't get arrested for approaches zero at an exponential rate.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.