Attention all pants-saggers, this is your captain speaking. You may be asked to hike up your trousers during the duration of this flight or else be placed under citizen’s arrest.
The detention of 20-year-old University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman on various charges for failing to pull up his saggy pants on US Airways Flight 488 out of San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday morning has garnered national attention and has many outraged.
The Lincoln High School graduate is facing charges of trespassing and resisting arrest after he refused to obey a pilot and female flight crew member, who claims she saw the outline of what was under his exposed boxer shorts.
“Most of the people around here show their drawers all the time. If she didn’t want to see it, she shouldn’t have been looking,” said Rochell Gene, a Bayview resident. “Why you looking at it?”
Others said the incident smacks of racism.
“Any other color, they wouldn’t do it,” said Delta Gregory, 55. “Your pants might be too tight, too short, too low. What, do you have to wear a suit and tie now? What if they don’t like what color the tie is?”
The San Francisco Police Department said Thursday that the flight captain made a citizen’s arrest after Marman allegedly refused commands over a 10-minute period to pull up his pants. Police encountered Marman as he walked off the aircraft to the jetway, where he struggled against attempts to handcuff him and injured an officer, according to a press release.
Marman was in The City to attend the funeral of his best friend and former Lincoln teammate David Henderson, who died after being shot in the head last month.
Henderson’s mother, Qunzena, said the incident created yet another tough day in a horrible few weeks.
Marman is being held at the San Mateo County Jail awaiting an arraignment scheduled for today, according to defense attorney Joe O’Sullivan, who said he is trying to get the charges dropped.
“What are they, the fashion police?” he said. “I think it was racist, and US Airways will pay greatly for that fact.”
Michael Risher, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said without clear dress guidelines, the airline is leaving itself open to accusations of discriminatory practices.
“Forty years ago, we’re talking about white guys with long hair, and now we’re seeing it happen to young black men with saggy pants,” Risher said.
Airline spokesman Andrew Christie wouldn’t comment on the incident specifically, but he said although the company doesn’t have a detailed dress code, it has a policy for passengers to “dress in an appropriate manner to ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers.”
Residents of The City’s Bayview district react to Deshon Marman being taken off a plane for wearing sagging pants:
- “I don’t know, I would have avoided that and pulled them up. I guess they just don’t want sagging pants on the plane no more.” — Andre Hines, 19
- “The flight crew is probably from Mississippi or something like that.” — Delta Gregory, 55
- “He was a black man, but they didn’t know his status.” — Ray Twine, 62