Boxer barers beware

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Undesirable public displays of the derriere were the focus of leaders and citizens alike at Tuesday’s Bainbridge City Council meeting.

The council discussed the possibility of developing a local ordinance to prohibit the wearing of pants or shorts below the waist in a manner that exposes undergarments.

City Manager Chris Hobby brought up the issue at the request of longtime City Councilman Luther Conyers, who said he wanted the council to take a look at other cities’ ordinances and allow citizens to voice their opinions.

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Sarah Griffin, who owns a convenience store with her husband, said her customers’ complaints about young men in baggy pants hanging around led her posting signs and asking offenders to leave.

“It is a problem in the school system and a real problem for people in the community who don’t wish to see [baggy pants],” Griffin said.

Two other citizens had comments in favor of Conyers’ idea, including the Rev. Raymond Mayes, the pastor of the Nelson Chapel A.M.E. Church.

“It is something plaguing our community, but I think it would be very difficult to police,” Mayes said. “Our children are not ashamed of sin, that’s why they’re exposing themselves.”

City Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer asked Hobby to word a proposed ordinance to make sure women wearing “hip-hugger” jeans with midriff tops would not run afoul of any prohibition on baggy pants.

Hobby replied that Georgia law already defines the indecent exposure of skin; therefore, the local ordinance could be tailored to refer only to wearing pants in a way that shows underwear.

City Councilman Joe Sweet said he believed youth were wrongly imitating what he called the “stage uniform” of popular rappers performing on television.

Public Safety Director Larry Funderburke told The Post-Searchlight his department is in favor of such an ordinance.

“[Officers] have to go into a store and stand beside people showing off their underwear,” Funderburke said. “It’s insulting to [our] uniform.”

“It is a problem,” Conyers told the newspaper. “I wonder if [issuing warnings and citations] would send messages to some people.”