Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond responded to a KEEL interview with former City Councilman Calvin Lester. Lester, who introduced the city's controversial "saggy pants" ordinance, told KEEL listeners that he supports the repeal of his 12-year-old ordinance because of the way it has been implemented by law enforcement.
Here is the text of Chief Raymond's email to 101.7 / 710 KEEL:
"I would like to make a couple of comments regarding some of the conversation surrounding the sagging pants ordinance. I have never said the ordinance is being used in a racially discriminatory manner, nor do I believe that it is. The ordinance has been enforced upon those whom are in violation of it. I have asked our crime analyst to pull stats for the offense of Prostitution. I imagine most arrests for Prostitution have been female; if that is the case it does not mean we are prejudice against females. It simply indicates that the predominant violators of that specific statute happen to be female.
I have also never mentioned making arrests for other crimes as a result of making searches incidental to arrest for wearing pants below the waist. In my experience, those whom are in possession of guns, drugs or wanted for more serious crimes run from officers upon approach or make other furtive movements indicating they are in violation of some more serious offense and additional investigation is warranted and legally permissible. This is a fairly in depth legal conversation where we get into Terry stops, reasonable suspicion and other legal terms that rely on an officer's knowledge, training and experience. Suffice to say that I do not believe the majority of officers are enforcing the sagging pants ordinance improperly. I also have not encouraged a heavy handed police approach, as has been implied. I have called for more Proactive policing measures which include more frequent contact with the citizens we serve and working more closely with our citizens and businesses. It does not mean overly aggressive nor abusive policing and violations of citizen's rights will not be tolerated.
I will end by saying, as I have before, that we only enforce ordinances that are enacted by our legislative bodies. The Police are not to blame for enforcing laws the citizens have called for, but we will gladly and without complaint stop enforcing this ordinance if repealed."
To hear former Councilman Lester's KEEL interview, including his criticism of the SPD, JUST CLICK HERE!