Police, Nike team up to donate shoes to Haiti

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – What was a misdemeanor crime for some will turn into a blessing for others.
The Tupelo Police Department is teaming with Nike to donate counterfeit Nike shoes to World Vision, a relief organization that will distribute the shoes internationally, with a special emphasis on Haiti.
More than 300 counterfeit Nike shoes have been confiscated by the Tupelo Police Department, and usually counterfeit shoes are destroyed, said Jonathan Turner with Wilson amp& Turner Investigative Consultants, who work with Nike to combat counterfeit products in the Mid-South. But the police department didn’t want to see the shoes go to waste, when they could be donated to victims of the deadly Haiti earthquake.
“World Vision is a reputable organization, so we know we can depend on them to get (the shoes) out to the needy,” said police Detective Scott Floyd. “These are definitely not true Nikes, but to someone who has no shoes, they’re better than anything.”
Turner said most of the shoes were knock-off Jordans or Air Force 1s, which retail anywhere from $100-150.
The shoes were confiscated in 2009 at various locations in Tupelo, from a person’s home to retail stores to a convenience store, Floyd said.
Turner said he usually has two or three cases a month dealing with counterfeit Nikes in the Mid-South.