The city of Flint in Michigan has a new sheriff in town going by the name of David Dicks and he aims to ‘crack’ down on sagging pants. I can’t be bothered to go in to the whole ins and outs of the situation, you can check for that yourself here.
But the whole thing did leave me with a sour taste in my mouth. I mean Constitutionally it can’t be legal; article 1 section 1 states that “All legislative power here in granted shall be vested in a congress of the United States”.
Now there is no way that this outlawing of saggy pants has passed through Congress. This is a long and cumbersome process in where a bill must be approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and approved by a 2/3 majority. This is where a huge difference between American and British law occurs, and often a central point for debate on which system is more effective. The fact that new laws are notoriously difficult to pass in America often leave this system open to criticism, therefore in this situation it is impossible to suggest that a law banning baggy trousers would even get past the first stage.
But as Jimmy Cricket used to say “c’mere there’s more”. The Constitutions Fourth Amendment states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.
Surely dressing in a particular style does not amount to probable cause and as such constitutes as a violation and unreasonable search and seizure. However, I must consider that American law is open to the interpretation of the individual upholding the law, now if I were appointed to the Supreme Court, David Dicks would get his ass laughed out of the courtroom, but on the streets of Flint, it’s his interpretation of the law which citizens must be abide by.
Dicks interpretation of the law is that exposing the top of your boxers is ‘disorderly conduct'; which counts as a misdemeanor offense.
Getting drunk and abusing people is disorderly conduct, exposing the top of your boxers is not. Dicks also claims that sagging pants which expose naked bum cheeks count as ‘indecent exposure'; also a misdemeanor. Now in this instance he may be right, but who in the fuck wears pants that show off their bum cracks? Is Sergeant Dicks going to arrest every builder within the Flint City Limits? It seems like a total waste of police resources.
But I’m careful not to fall into the all too easy trap of attacking police officers, maybe Sergeant Dicks has more genuine reasons to implement these laws. After all it’s him that has to patrol these streets and risk his neck every day, not me. It is well established that Flint is a very dangerous, violent city. And in times considered to be particularly trying it is common for the constitution to be bent or even down right ignored if it can be considered to be for the greater good. Perhaps Sergeant Dicks feels that by passing this phony law that he will have greater powers to arrest people likely to be carrying guns or drugs. But I don’t see how sagging pants can be considered ‘probable cause’. Some might consider these actions to be entrapment, others might see it as a long overdue police action against a national nuisance. But before anyone plays the race card, Sergeant Dick is in fact African American and the accompanying press shot depicts him bending over some wise guy wigger.
I don’t live in Flint, or even in the US for that matter, so it is hard for me to form an opinion on the nobility of Sergeant Dick’s actions as they do not affect me. However if such a law were to be passed in Britain, I would be disgusted, I am a grown, law abiding man, but in the summer you won’t catch me without my Dickies on, sagging below the top of my boxers. Anyone that does wear them will know how hard it is to fit a belt through them loops. It’s not because I’m a gangsta, or wish to be perceived as one, that’s just how I get down.
My gut feeling here is that some over zealous, stand-in police chief who has a chip on his shoulder for being called ‘Dicks’ wants to make a name for himself by breaking balls.
Anyone who lives in Flint or who can shed a little light on this situation, please leave a comment.