Ocala Council Repeals Saggy Pants Ordinance

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

News Release: Associated Press
September 17, 2014

OCALA, Fla. (AP) -- Saggy pants will once again be allowed on city property after the Ocala City Council voted to repeal an ordinance banning them.

In a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, the council reversed the controversial ordinance.

Local NAACP president Loretta Pompey Jenkins applauded the action, saying the issue should be dealt with at home, in church or by community groups instead of by government agencies. She says the ordinance was seen by many as an attempt to target young black men.

Councilwoman Mary Rich was the dissenting vote. She initially convinced the council to approve the ordinance, which carried a penalty of up to $500 and 60 days in jail.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports Rich had hoped the council would make it a civil offense to wear saggy pants.


News Release: Associated Press
August 25, 2014

OCALA, Fla. (AP) -- Two Ocala officials want to repeal the city's so-called "saggy pants ban," an ordinance that prohibits anyone on city property from wearing pants that sag well below the waistline and expose undergarments.

The councilmen, Jim Hilty and Brent Malever, initially voted for the ban, but now say it's too ambiguous to enforce. The mayor has called for a special meeting on Tuesday to address the issue.

The ordinance, proposed by Councilwoman Mary Sue Rich, has come under fire from the NAACP and others who say it targets young black men.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports that Rich, who is black, denied the law targets any one group and says the saggy pants are disrespectful.

Violators can be fined up to $500 and spend up to 60 days in jail.


News Release: Associated Press
July 17, 2014

OCALA, Fla. (AP) -- It's now illegal to wear low pants that expose underwear or bare buttocks in parts of Ocala.

The city council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an ordinance that prohibit anyone on city property from wearing pants two inches below their natural waist.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports this is the second time Councilwoman Mary Rich requested the ordinance. In 2009, no one seconded her motion. Mayor Kent Guinn said in 2009 that one of his objects was that the ordinance would lead to profiling. Rich told him the ordinance applies to both genders and all races.

The sagging pants ordinance is enforceable on city-owned or leased property, including sidewalks, streets, parks, sports, recreation and public transportation facilities and parking lots.

It is punishable by jail time and a $500 fine.


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