EDITORIAL: Beware of fashion police

Published 1:03 pm Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Luverne City Council may become the city’s next fashion police, if some members have their way.

At Monday’s meeting, council members discussed the possibility of passing an ordinance that would prohibit people from sagging their pants in public places.

The subject was introduced by a concerned citizen last October, but put on the backburner while Mayor Joe Rex Sport researched similar ordinances in other municipalities.

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Sport said wearing pants that sagged was a ridiculous custom and he would like to see a new law go against it.

Councilman S.P. Walker (district 5) was a voice of reason in the discussion. He was the first to say he was not in favor of passing the ordinance and listed several valid reasons why it would be a bad idea.

“First of all, you are going to put something on police that is difficult to enforce,” he said.

How specific would such an ordinance get? Would officers be required to carry tape measures? Where would the line of indecency be drawn? From men with long hair to women in micro-miniskirts, young people have pushed the envelope of decency for years. But, somehow, people in saggy pants are the ones under attack.

Walker worried that such a law would profile a small group of residents, and Councilman Charlie Johnson said that small group consisted mostly of black people.

In this day and age of race riots and animosity toward police officers, the last thing “The Friendliest City in the South” should ask of its officers is to police clothing.

Thank you, Councilman Walker, for saying as much.