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RELEASED November 13, 2011

WHEREAS, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc. (NABLEO), a 501©3 non-profit, is a premier national organization for men and women of color serving in the ranks of criminal justice system professionals, and has been in the forefront of bridging the gap between the community and the police; and

WHEREAS, our mission is to provide community-based solutions to policing issues which have a direct impact on communities of color and the pivotal roles that African American, Latino, and other criminal justice practitioners of color play; improve the quality of life in poor and low income communities; and strengthen the bonds between community members and their law enforcement guardians; and

WHEREAS, numerous communities have established local legislation which criminalizes the practice of the wearing of pants and trousers below the waist line, a fashion fad known as sagging which has been adopted extensively by youth in communities of color, and particularly by young Black men; and

WHEREAS, these measures, while seeking to establish decorum and decency amongst all citizens, abnormally target young men of color, thus further promoting the framework for the practice of racial profiling; and

WHEREAS, laws of this type have a distinct and directly discriminatory and disparate impact on the youth of the Black and Latino community, placing them in further risk of disproportionate minority contact with law enforcement; and

WHEREAS, laws of this type have no legitimate law enforcement purpose and have no true value in efforts to stem criminal conduct;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, while we in no way condone the practice of wearing clothing in this manner and strongly encourage our youth to dress appropriately, the Board of Directors and Membership of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc expresses its disdain for, and objections to, legislation which criminalizes this form of social expression and accomplishes nothing more than the further disenfranchisement of young men of color.

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