Fresh off the heels of breaking the H&M trashing debacle, it turns out city officials have been shredding counterfeit goods since the summer.
Trusty New York Timesreporter Jim Dwyer reported the sad tale in full today (after having exposed H&M just last week), saying that the Police Department's practice of incinerating confiscated clothing items presents a break with its previous practice of donating knock-offs to charities. A spokesperson for the Department of Sanitation chillingly calls the process "a witnessed burn."
Naturally, everyone seems to be up in arms about the practice, because, well, there are people in need of good coats and clothing, so it does seem a waste to incinerate perfectly good stuff. On the other hand, if the goods themselves are, say, criminal -- it does seem understandable that the city would be obliged to keep said criminal goods from re-entering the populace, especially since -- as evidenced by the city's recent crackdown on Chinatown counterfeiters -- the Police Department seems to be really taking fake goods dealers to task of late. (Imagine, say, you find an knock-off Hermes Birkin at a charitable goods location, snap it up, then sell it on eBay, or somesuch. You get the idea.)
That said, it seems the United States Customs and Border Protection has the right idea, having reportedly donated $78 million in counterfeit goods to charity last year, but only "with the consent of the trademark holder." What's more, the chief spokesperson for the Police Department's response to the whole affair -- that the department stopped supplying clothing to the Department of Homeless Services because they stopped asking -- seems downright silly. Establish a charitable giving plan and stick to it, guys.