Low-slung trousers banned in Ocala, Florida

Those wearing their trousers two inches below their waist could face jail

Residents in a Florida city now face being sent to jail if they wear low-slung trousers which reveal their underwear or buttocks.

The City Council of Ocala, in the US, voted unanimously last Tuesday to pass an order which bans anyone wearing their trousers 2 inches past their natural waistline on any city property, including on streets, at parks, and on public transport.

“I just think it's disgraceful to show your underwear,” the architect of the ruling, Councilwoman Mary Rich, said according to WFTV.com.

“We try to be a nice, clean city.  I think it'll help clean it up some,” she added.

At first police will issue warnings to those wearing their trousers too low, but repeat offenders could face a $500 fine or a jail sentence. 

Rich first put forward the idea in 2009, but no other councillors seconded her motion. Current Mayor Kent Guinn, who was a councillor at the time, said in 2009 that the ordinance could lead to profiling.

Residents of the city told Channel 9 they feared that young black men and teenagers, who are most likely to follow the trend, will be most affected by the change.

“I think this is a form of harassment,” resident Curt Brown told reporters, adding: “[The ordinance] gets you pulled to the side, [so police can] harass you, search you and have a right to do whatever they want to.“

Responding to criticism, Rich said the Marion County School system in the Ocala county seat had a dress code which had not caused any problems. However critics said those rules are for children and nobody goes to jail if they break them.

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