Stone Mountain, GA — In the land of the free, you can and will be targeted by police, detained, and even kidnaped and extorted, or worse, for wearing clothes in a manner not fit for the police state. Darrell Wilcox, of Stone Mountain, learned this the hard way last week after not one, but three police units swarmed him and his girlfriend Chantique Christayle because his pants were sagging.
Wilcox was not displaying nudity, nor was he deliberately 'mooning' or otherwise indecently exposing himself. His pants were merely lower than his waistline—and for this, he was targeted by police.
Christayle filmed the act of public extortion and the resulting video is nothing short of infuriating. Sadly, however, after posting the video to her Facebook page, countless freedom hating individuals came out of the woodwork to express their approval of extorting someone over the way they dress.
"Pull ya damn pants up. Nobody wants to see you tainted and strained underwear.. Hopefully he learned his lesson on how to look respectable in public," one Facebook user wrote.
"Guys should not be walking around with their boxer shorts showing, it is not appropriate. They should make it a LAW. Come on be real," wrote another.
Unfortunately, the comments in support of an innocent man getting detained and extorted for his choice of fashion show an ignorance of the principals of freedom.
Because you don't like something does not mean it should be illegal.
If there is no victim, there is no crime. If Wilcox would've been showing nudity, of course, he deserves to be held accountable. However, that was not the case. His butt was covered, but in a way as to elicit a massive police response.
Across Georgia, multiple cities and counties have debated, and some have actually introduced, bans on sagging pants. The recent discussions and introductions of “pants” ordinances across Georgia are seen by many as a new way for law enforcement officers to target African American teens and men.
The racial undertones of the ordinance are clear, as sagging will simply give police another excuse to make contact and interrogate otherwise innocent young black citizens. As was the case in this incident, we can see the officer use the stop for sagging pants to initiate an unconstitutional search of Wilcox and his belongings.
Indeed, the ACLU has weighed in on the manner in other states like Louisiana, noting that discriminatory and unconstitutional nature of such laws.
The Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana, Marjorie R. Esman, said in 2015 that sagging is protected under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as “a form of expression.”
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“The government must demonstrate a rational basis for its ban — and Opelousas has no legitimate rational basis for regulating the attire of its residents,” Esman wrote.
If you don't like sagging pants, don't sag your pants. When you move to initiate police force to enforce your personal preference—you become the bad guy.
Sadly, as cops like the ones in the video below harass and extort innocent young black men for sagging pants, thousands of rape kits are sitting on shelves in police departments across the state of Georgia.
While Wilcox was let go with a note of extortion and threat of violence for non-payment from the state (a citation), others were not so lucky.
In early November 2015, a school resource officer, in an effort to protect the world from the horrors of sagging pants, charged two students with indecent exposure.
Officer Willie Hoyle said he had warned the students several times that the pants they were wearing were inappropriate for school, according to court documents.
Hoyle claimed that his actions were noble as the older seniors were setting a poor example for the younger children and their future attire choices.
For sagging pants, these two children were kidnapped and thrown in a cage for for two days and they now both have criminal records.
Ervin Leon Edwards, 38, died face down in a jail cell after a half-dozen officers held him down and tasered him, then left him for dead.
His crime? Police were harassing him over his "sagging pants," according to a lawsuit and moments later he was arrested and brought to the West Baton Rouge jail.
For sagging his pants, Edwards was kidnapped, thrown in a cage and tortured with a taser until he stopped breathing. He was left face down and not breathing in his cell for more than ten minutes. He would never recover.