Cocoa, FL (Florida Today) -- The newly elected mayor of Cocoa wants the citycouncil to consider the ramifications of the law banning saggy pantsbefore it goes into effect Jan. 1.
Mayor Henry Parrish is concerned the measure could lead to a costly legal fight if the ordinance is contested in court.
"Weare asking for trouble," Parrish said. "I believe this would open thecity to a big lawsuit. Defending it is going to cost taxpayers a lot ofmoney."
Parrishcalled for a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the council toreconsider the ordinance that will ban pants or skirts that exposeunderwear or skin more than 3 inches below the waistline.
Thelaw would only be enforced on streets, sidewalks and other cityproperty. Although it was passed in October, enforcement was delayed toeducate the community about the ordinance.
Theordinance drew international attention - much of it mocking - after itwas passed. A Google search of "Cocoa saggy pants law" on Fridayproduced 963,000 results.
Twoof the three council members who voted in favor of the ordinance, MikeBlake and Jake Williams, were replaced after the November election byParrish and Councilwoman Brenda Warner.
The mayor wants the opportunity to decide on the ordinance before it goes in to effect.
CityAttorney Anthony Garganese was asked to prepare an ordinance to repealthe law in case the council makes that decision Tuesday.
Thepresident of the Central Brevard Branch of the NAACP, Alberta Wilson,has lobbied for overturning the ordinance. Although the mother of twosons doesn't approve of the fashion statement, she believes the lawtreads on an individual's civil rights.
"Iam adamantly against young people walking around looking like that, itis degrading," Wilson said. "However, that does not allow anymunicipality or any other government entity to infringe people's civilrights."
Theordinance calls for a civil fine of $25 for first written citation afteran initial verbal warning from police or code enforcement staff.
In2010, Cocoa abandoned efforts to pass a similar ordinance because ofconstitutional court challenges facing other municipalities that enactedsaggy-pants laws.
Wilson feels the law creates unreasonable probable cause for law enforcement to engage individuals on the street.
"They wanted a mechanism by which the Cocoa Police Department could further harass our young people," Wilson said.
The mayor also is worried that enforcement could be seen as profiling.
"Ibelieve if we let it go into law, it is going to put us in a positionwhere we are going to be perceived as possibly stereotypingindividuals," Parrish said.