Earlier this week, a NYPD officer arrested a shop worker for selling fake Burberry and Gucci handbags. A common enough sight on the streets of New York’s Chinatown (still a waste of taxpayer and policing resources if you ask me)…but in this particular incident, the bag was made of…cardboard. As in, no one is even trying to pretend that it’s real, honey — or even a real fake. It’s like a fake fake. Made of paper, y’all.
The man arrested was Wing Sun Mak, who works at Fook On Sing Funeral supplies on Mulberry Street selling paper “products” for mourners to burn for the dead. Y’know, like the paper money, clothes, cars, and luxury items you may have burned for your own relatives so they may be more comfortable in the afterlife.
So about this arrest, I say: Are You Fucking Kidding Me?? This store is located on a block in old Chinatown that’s peppered with Chinese funeral parlor and long-standing funeral-related businesses. This area is it so well known, it’s earned the nickname “funeral row”.
Hey NYPD don’t you have anything better to do? Shouldn’t you know better, given that there’s a police precinct 3 blocks away from this store? Try arresting some rapists and shit instead acting like douchebags and protecting the interests of the wealthy (I’m sure Louis Vitton loses loads of revenue due to cardboard fakes) and harassing indigenous businesses and residents (which unfortunately, has been NYPD’s pattern: see here and here).
District 1 Councilwoman Margaret Chin feels similarly, saying: “You expect the police to be culturally sensitive. This has been going on for hundreds of years, the Chinese burning offerings to the dead, and that’s what these kind of stores are for. It’s hard to understand how someone could mistake this for criminal activity.”
Although I have to say my favorite quote — which perfectly illustrates the fuckery of this whole thing — comes from Suki Lin, the wife of the arrested Mr. Mak: Lin picked up her own Coach handbag. “It’s real,” she said, a gift from her husband. She motioned toward a cardboard bag and said, “If he gave me that bag, I’d beat him to death.”
Full NYT article here.