Opa-locka repeals 13-year ban on saggy pants

OPA-LOCKA — After 13 years, a South Florida city has overturned a ban on “saggy pants” — bottoms that reveal the wearer’s underwear.

The Opa-locka City Commission voted Wednesday on a 4-1 vote to repeal both the original 2007 legislation and a 2013 ordinance that said women, not just men, could receive civil citations for wearing pants that exposed their undergarments.

The Miami Herald reports that the vote was a first reading of the repeal, meaning it will need to be approved again at a subsequent commission meeting before it’s official. But the item was co-sponsored by four of the five commissioners.

Around the city, which is northeast of Miami, signs still warn folks of the ordinance. They showing an image of two young men wearing pants below their waists and featuring the words: “No ifs, ands or butts ... It’s the city law!”

“I was never in support of it, even as a resident,” Vice Mayor Chris Davis, who sponsored the repeal, told the Miami Herald. “I felt it disproportionately affected a certain segment of our population, which is young, African-American men.”

When the ordnance was first passed, the ACLU of Florida called it a “ridiculous waste of public resources,” saying it would “impose overly harsh penalties for victimless behavior” and disproportionately affect Black youths.

911 dispatcher in Florida saves 2 lives in 1 shift

BUNNEL — A 21-year-old dispatcher for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office helped save two lives in the span of an hour during a recent 12-hour shift.

The News-Journal reported that the dramatic shift started at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 6 when McKenzie Davis took a call from a frantic mother. The caller’s 6-month-old child wasn’t breathing.

Davis helped calm the woman down before describing how to administer CPR to the infant.

“The baby was turning color and I knew it needed CPR right away,” Davis said. “That mother, she listened and did a really great job.”

After a full round of CPR, the baby began breathing and moving. The child was transported to a children’s hospital.

“When the mother told me the baby was breathing, it was a weight lifted off my chest,” Davis said. “I think I did a pretty loud exhale. When she told me the baby was crying, I said ‘That’s good. That means he’s breathing.’”

A little over an hour later, the switchboard lit up again and Davis answered another call.

“As soon as I picked up the phone, I knew it was going to be a bad one,” she said.

A woman said that her 71-year-old husband was in a swimming pool and not breathing. Again, Davis calmed the caller before giving verbal commands over the phone.

Davis told the caller to get the man out of the water, which was accomplished by other family members on scene.

Davis told the caller to put the phone on speaker so she could provide instructions.

Davis gave instructions and counted aloud while the family took turns performing compressions. Davis continued instructions until deputies and paramedics arrived. Emergency workers found a strong pulse and the man was transported to the hospital by ambulance. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Davis, who has been a dispatcher for two years, went right back to the 9-1-1 switchboard after the call.

Prosecutor seeks longer sentences for felony gun charges

JACKSONVILLE — A state attorney in North Florida is now requiring her prosecutors to seek longer prison sentences for felons arrested for illegally carrying guns.

With homicides continuing to climb in Jacksonville, State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced the new policy to her staff on Aug. 31, according to the Times-Union. The policy requires that based on defendants’ criminal backgrounds, prosecutors must seek 10 years, five years or three years in prison.

To waive a mandatory minimum sentence, prosecutors must get approval a higher-up.

The memo, which the Times-Union obtained recently, explained the new policy.

It creates three categories for those arrested for possessing a firearm with a felony conviction.

Prosecutors must offer a minimum of at least 10 years in prison to those with a past conviction for one of 16 possible offenses ranging from murder to resisting an officer with violence, if that person was released from prison within three years or convicted within five years. For those whose convictions were longer ago or who have firearm convictions in the last five years, prosecutors must offer at least five years in prison. For others, prosecutors must offer three years in prison.