Community leaders want a response from theater on arrest of Black teen for sagging his pants.
Members of the Wichita Ministerial League and the Wichita Branch NAACP are confounded by the refusal of management of Wichita’s Warren Theaters to meet with them about the arrest on May 21 of a young Black male for sagging pants.
Alonzo Taylor Jr., age 14, was arrested on Monday at the East Warren 20 movie theater and charged with trespassing.
Taylor told the local news station KAKE that his pants were not particularly low, but he couldn’t find a belt to wear before going to the theater. Additionally, by the time the manager approached him, he was holding a popcorn and drink he just bought from the concession stand so he found it hard to pull his pants up.
“I was by the counter and he (the manager) said that, ‘You’re going to have to leave. I don’t care what you did. You’re trespassing,’ ” he recalled.
Taylor said that he was still arrested even after complying with the manager’s instructions for allegedly trespassing in the movie theater.
According to Larry Burks, president of the Wichita Branch NAACP, the theater has refused to meet with a committee of community leaders about the incident. Once locally owned, Warren Theaters was purchased last year by the Regal Entertainment Group in Knoxville, Tennessee, which is now part of the UK-based theater chain Cineworld.
Burks said he was particularly concerned because he couldn’t find a dress code posted at the theater. The Community Voice dug deep into the theater’s website and couldn’t find anything that indicated a dress code for theater attendees.
Community leaders plan to meet again on the issue and will announce their next steps during an upcoming press conference. Burks said to expect a response from the community no later than Monday.