• Cocoa passes ordinance outlawing saggy pants


    COCOA, Fla. - The city council in Cocoa voted Tuesday night to ban people from wearing saggy pants on city streets or on public property.

    Leaders said the new ordinance will help improve the city's image.

    The Cocoa Police Department is starting an educational campaign for the ordinance, and said it will not start ticketing people until January.

    The ordinance bans residents from wearing pants or skirts that sag more than three inches below their waist.

    Cocoa Police Chief Mark Klayman said the new law could be used to stop suspects and search them for drugs or weapons.

    "It's going to be challenging, but I think we'll probably be addressing the worst-case scenarios," said Klayman.   

    However, many residents, along with District 1 Councilman Clarence Whipple said they are concerned.

    "The probable cause situation that's come in is a real problem.  It's a problem for the people getting stopped as well as those who are trying to enforce the problem," Whipple said.

    But the majority of the council agrees the new rule will improve Cocoa's image and cut down on crime.

    Some residents who spoke out at the meeting said they don't like to see exposed underwear, but don't think it's the city's place to police it.

    "What I am worried about is selective enforcement, the repercussions of that enforcement and trampling on rights," said one resident.

    The police chief said the saggy pants law is not meant to be a means of racial profiling.

    Police must warn offenders first and give them a chance to pull up their pants or the fine will be $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and the fines increase from there.

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