General Larry Platt sang that you look like a fool and a clown with your pants on the ground, but he didn’t say anything about shooting someone over the unbelted fashion statement. According to Scripps News, a Memphis man who got into an argument with two teens over their saggy pants said plenty to the young men before pulling out a pistol and shooting at them. One of the teens was hit in the rear with one of the wildly fired shots.
Kenneth E. Bonds, 45, now faces aggravated assault charges after confronting the two young men, shooting at them, and injuring one of them. Court documents attest that on Sept. 25 Bond began yelling at the two youths, aged 16 and 17, to pull up their sagging pants as they walked down the street, reportedly to buy some candy. An argument ensued and grew heated.
Then Bonds drew a pistol from his waistband and fired it at the 17-year-old.
The teens ran. But scaring the teens seemingly wasn’t enough, because Bond continued to shoot at the fleeing young men. According to the police affidavit, one bullet struck the 17-year-old in the buttock and came out his thigh. He was later treated at a local hospital.
Bonds admitted to Memphis Police that he had initiated the shooting after an argument with the youths, police said.
Sagging pants has become part of pop culture, a fashion statement worn by young men often simply as an act of rebellion against their less “cool” and out-of-touch parents and preceding generation. The “droopy drawers” chic has become the daily uniform of the “in crowd” male teenager, much to the consternation of older people. And although the style has become ubiquitous throughout the United States, not many know of its origin.
According to the New York Times, which chronicled the efforts of various areas of the country to legally curtail the fashion, the style began in prison and is meant to mimic the bagging pants of an inmate that, due to corrections policies, is denied a belt (and shoe strings) for fear of an attempted suicide. The fashion was taken to the street and displayed in rapper videos, becoming the symbol of swagger and disrespect for authority.
But that is the whitewashed version of the fashion. According to Yahoo Answers, the fashion style of wearing saggy or sagging pants is also the mark of availability (for sex) in prison. Although some have equated the style with homosexuality, sexuality has little if nothing to do with the wearing of saggy pants. It has far more to do with self-preservation and protection against other prisoners in a system where the pecking order is determined by might makes right.
It is unknown if Mr. Bonds shared the history of prisonwear chic to the teens when he was attempting to get them to pull up their sagging pants. Unfortunately for the Memphis man, he may learn first-hand about the style that so offended him.