Saggy pants law pulled by main backer

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The Augusta Commission killed a proposed saggy pants law Tuesday, with its sponsor calling it unneeded and a possible infringement on free expression.

Commissioner Corey Johnson said he's changed his mind since last week's Public Services Committee meeting, when he pitched changing the public indecency ordinance so that anyone whose sagging pants cause "exposure of the buttocks" could be cited, fined as much as $150 and sentenced to community service.

Mr. Johnson called the fad -- which started in penal institutions and is thought to be an invitation to prison sex -- a "moral problem" that should be dealt with by the school system, churches and civic groups. He moved to withdraw his proposal, and the commission voted unanimously in support.

"I think this is something that, of course, is a huge disparity in our community," Mr. Johnson said. "It's definitely something everybody's paying attention to, but I don't see this ordinance really addressing the actual concern appropriately."

Commissioner Calvin Holland commended Mr. Johnson for raising the issue, saying the publicity he has generated might already be leading to change. It's good that young people know elected officials care about how they present themselves, he said, but fixing the problem needs to start with parents.

"One thing that we cannot do, we cannot legislate morality, and we cannot legislate self-respect," Mr. Holland said.

Saggers usually wear baggy jeans around their thighs, exposing boxer shorts. Hip-hop artists popularized the trend, but it has been linked to prisons where inmates are denied belts and tie strings to prevent strangulations.

City bans have been passed in Louisiana, Connecticut and the Georgia towns of Hahira, Hawkinsville and Warner Robins. Others are pending in Atlanta; Charleston, S.C.; and Waynesboro, Ga.

Unlike ordinances that have drawn fire from the American Civil Liberties Union, Mr. Johnson's proposal would have allowed police to cite saggers only for showing too much skin, not underwear.

He said Tuesday that the current city code covers indecent exposure.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (32) Add comment
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tired of the crap
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tired of the crap 12/03/08 - 04:09 am
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I'm tired of going in the

I'm tired of going in the store or restauraunts and seeing guys pants at their knees with their underwear showing. I think its time that they start showing respect for everyone else.Pull the pants up or get a ticket. what happen to mr. johnson did someone scare you?

peach66
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peach66 12/03/08 - 05:07 am
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When is it the schools,

When is it the schools, churches, or civic groups job to teach modesty? It should br taught at home!! Bring the government in all aspects of EVERYTHING.

LadyCisback
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LadyCisback 12/03/08 - 05:25 am
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the saggy pants are

the saggy pants are ridiculous.. such a disrespectful thing to see.. their nasty underwear with streaks of no shame!!

bone
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bone 12/03/08 - 06:37 am
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fat chicks in tight clothing

fat chicks in tight clothing offend me more than thug-wannabees who let their pants hang low / pull underwear high as a show of power & disrespect. get a grip on yourselves, folks, and let the li'l boys have their fun - now let's tackle the too-many-twinkies crowd and get their spandex-wearin' muffin-top behavior under control before they raid the next buffet!

zambu_glenlivet
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zambu_glenlivet 12/03/08 - 07:30 am
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Good one, Bone,LOL!!!! I

Good one, Bone,LOL!!!! I want to start a movement against fat chicks in thongss and their "Whale Tails" showing. I get a queasy feeling everytime I see a set of butt cheeks hanging out the side of their undies and over the rim of their jeans!!!

LadyCisback
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LadyCisback 12/03/08 - 07:35 am
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Now that's gross!!

Now that's gross!!

christian134
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christian134 12/03/08 - 08:29 am
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Agreed bone...Saw a woman

Agreed bone...Saw a woman yesterday, about 300 pounds if not more, in a pair of spandex pants that were so overstretched that one could literally count the cellulite pockets...Thanking God I had not eaten before I was presented with that enormous mound of flesh in pants so tight they were screaming....Her top was of no help whatsoever as it didn't help any with the upper part of her...There is such a thing as offensive and lewd behavior...Arrest a few of these men and women and fine them...Maybe the lesson learned will get the message across...Just to alter the path of those yelling racist and discrimination I would like to say I have nothing against a person who is fat, skinny or in-between just put some clothes on that fit for crying out loud...

karmakills123
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karmakills123 12/03/08 - 08:32 am
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Not to mention gross fat guys

Not to mention gross fat guys with the "dunlaps" and man boobs in too short & too small tee shirts and the plumber crack at the back...now THATS gross !!

reader54
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reader54 12/03/08 - 09:27 am
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Duh!! It took awhile before

Duh!! It took awhile before he realized the ridiculous. However, morality is criminalized in many cases(i.e.prostitution,drug use,etc.).These are victimless crimes and legal in other places. Morality is a cultural issue and is constantly evolving. What's immoral today may be excepted in ten years and vice versa.

disssman
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disssman 12/03/08 - 09:43 am
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I guess now we can get back

I guess now we can get back to enforcing current laws! The baboom, baboom,. baboom, baboom, baboom baboom is still going on all over Augusta and the police need to put a stop to it.

Fed UP with MCG
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Fed UP with MCG 12/03/08 - 10:19 am
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Ok I am going to say it again

Ok I am going to say it again if it is freedom of expression then go after the parents then. They are the ones that are allowing this trend to continue. Funny what happened to spare the rod spoil the child? Shoot after today's article it should be spare the child and beat him for disrespect. COME ON CSRA THIS WAS A BLACK COMMISSIONER THAT WAS PURPOSING THIS. If he is tired of it then why are you barking at FREEDOM of EXPRESSION and MORALS. Wake up, wake up, wake up!!!!!!! He is trying to tell you that enough is enough. Your boys are not going to get respect if they don't look like respect. They are not going to get a job, get a proper education because they look like crap, and before you throw a race card at me. It also goes for the BMW's of this area. Rather than write rants and raves, whine to each other, start being parents, preachers, and voters. I bet OBAMA didn't go running around with his pants around his waist.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 12/03/08 - 10:27 am
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This is just another fashion

This is just another fashion fad that will vanish for most. Remember flag bell bottoms? wide belts with HUGE buckles? paisley everything? wingtips? three different colored t-shirts being worn at the same time? Fads come and go for most people.

hope2009
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hope2009 12/03/08 - 10:39 am
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Thanks Commissioner Johnson

Thanks Commissioner Johnson for trying but it's up to each citizen to take a stand. I think it's sad but this saggy pants fad is costing our your men their future. If you don't beleive this look around to see where they are being hired, if they are being hired at all. Who wants to be served by or assisted by a person who constantly has his hands in his pants/on his or her underwear? DOES THIS ALSO MEAN THAT WHEN THESE INDIVIDUALS GO TO COURT FOR WHATEVER REASON THAT THE JUDGES HAVE NO RIGHT TO TELL THEM TO PUll UP THEIR PANTS THAT THEY ARE DISRESPECTING THE COURT? or Is there a dress code for the courtroom?

rufus
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rufus 12/03/08 - 11:02 am
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It's an invitation to be the

It's an invitation to be the receiver of prison sex. I didn't know so many of our youths were rump rangers.

MyOpinion2
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MyOpinion2 12/03/08 - 11:33 am
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no shirt, no shoes, no saggy

no shirt, no shoes, no saggy pants, no service!

BarstoolDreamer
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BarstoolDreamer 12/03/08 - 12:10 pm
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Having the Gov't enforce a

Having the Gov't enforce a dress code is great.....until someone that does not agree with your style is elected and wants to ban dockers, golf shirts and sweater vest.... if you don't think it could happen you have not been paying attention.

Concerned Citizen
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Concerned Citizen 12/03/08 - 12:12 pm
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I do not condone the baggy

I do not condone the baggy pants, however, once your child leaves your sight there is no telling what they are doing or wearing. This goes for young ladies also that change their clothes into skimpy miniskirts when they leave from their parents.

55 F-100
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55 F-100 12/03/08 - 12:48 pm
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I find this "fashion"

I find this "fashion" offensive, and I do something about it. I face the thug cretin, tell him that I along with the rest of the civilized world care nothing about seeing his nasty drawers, and instruct him to pull his pants up. I stay in front of the knuckledragger until he complies with my instruction. Make it very understood that you are not making a request, you are demanding common decency from them as it relates to their appearance in public. By doing so, you will feel gratified, and know that you provided good "parenting" to the cretin, and it will probably be the only good "parenting" that they will experience on that day.

rufus
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rufus 12/03/08 - 01:09 pm
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You ain't gonna be with us

You ain't gonna be with us long 55

trying to understand
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trying to understand 12/03/08 - 01:24 pm
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"Sagging" is not a fad. It

"Sagging" is not a fad. It has been around for 20+ years. In fact, I wore my pants that way back in 1987. One day, my father told me to pull my pants up and they stayed up. Sagging seems to be becoming ingrained in African-American culture. This kids are only doing what they have seen other male figures in their lives do. Sagging is indicative of a larger problem; the acceptance and sometimes even glorification of lawbreakers in the community. I went to college with a guy who said that his goal in life had previously been to be a bigger drug dealer than the one "up the street." He came to his senses, thank God. I think that too many black people don't believe that they can fully be a part of the majority culture, because both conciously and unconciously, a lot of emphasis is placed on race (by both blacks and whites). This doesn't excuse the people to glorify criminals, but it explains why. Oh, by the way, young white guys sag because they listen to more rap music than black kids. Hip hop is "cool."

palomino9
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palomino9 12/03/08 - 01:51 pm
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infringement on free

infringement on free expression? what about citizens having to look at dirty underwear and cracks? get the thugness out of augusta,

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 12/03/08 - 02:52 pm
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bone, it's the thug

bone, it's the thug wannabee's that keep "getting a grip on themselves" that is the problem, not the people who object to seeing that. We would prefer not to see dirty underwear, thin underwear, etc., and crotch grabbing because there pants are falling down, impeding their progress at anything. And forget about the race thing, white kids do it, too, especially in the smaller cities that are behind the times. Sagging pants is no longer the in thing, but keeping up with the times doesn't seem to be Augusta's strong suit.

Fed UP with MCG
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Fed UP with MCG 12/03/08 - 02:56 pm
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It is wonderful to see that

It is wonderful to see that so many people so far have commented on the issue. But, here's the thing until people like ourselves stand as ONE and demean them in public like one wrote. "NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO BAGGY PANTS, NO BELLYBUTTON OR BUTTCRACKS, NO SERVICE." If enough of us start inforcing those policies then because of preference it cannot become a Racial issue. When they don't get service, hired, or anything they still have no rights to disgust those who do. It is a plan out and our fact that people who dress successfully black or white they are the ones that get looked at the most. If you look the part to fit into society then well.... Society has you pegged and YOU HOLD YOURSELF DOWN NOT OPPRESSION. Common sense.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 12/03/08 - 03:00 pm
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55, you are living

55, you are living dangerously. I couldn't even walk out of my previous house without my thug neighbors harassing me, cursing at me, shooting at my house, vandalizing my property, killing my pets, slandering me, all in front of my children. I begged for help from the law, I never took the bait from these fashion plates and never responded to them, so they totally made up cr*p and said I was the problem. And you want me to confront them about their underwear showing and crotch-grabbing? I don't have a death wish. Of course, I'm just a little over five foot tall, so I suppose they thought I was helpless. If they had known I was packing and was an award-winning shot, I wonder if projectiles would have been flying at my house with that frequency. By the way, these saggers were mostly African American women and a few Hispanic males as well as a few black males causing chaos on my block, so again, it's not just one demographic. It was truly a relief when I was finally able to get myself and my children out of there after 7 years of h*ll.

Fed UP with MCG
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Fed UP with MCG 12/03/08 - 03:06 pm
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GET THE THUGNESS OUT that is

GET THE THUGNESS OUT that is what The sheriff's department and the elected officials have been trying to do? Everytime something comes up about bettering this community people don't do a thing one to support. OPPRESSION THE BLACK COMMUNITY SCREAMS, RACISIM REDNECK BMW THE WHITES SCREAM. Heaven forbid that anyone starts something or says anything. We may get shot, mugged, or killed because of FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND IT'S A FAD PEOPLE!"

dale88fan
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dale88fan 12/03/08 - 03:11 pm
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i say shoot to kill the

i say shoot to kill the little bastards and stop the cycle!

dale88fan
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dale88fan 12/03/08 - 03:12 pm
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and sterilize the mothers and

and sterilize the mothers and fathers of these idiots!

dale88fan
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dale88fan 12/03/08 - 03:13 pm
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hey fed up == are you one of

hey fed up == are you one of those mcg rent-a-cops?

Fed UP with MCG
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Fed UP with MCG 12/03/08 - 03:21 pm
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hey dale you a redneck? what

hey dale you a redneck? what a D***

curiousone
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curiousone 12/03/08 - 04:30 pm
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What ever happened to

What ever happened to teaching everyone self-respect and common courtesy? (And, truthfully, most of us wouldn't win any fashion show, but we should dress in a way that is complimentary to our physiques, however large or small.)

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