L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Criticized for Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Featuring Pink Handcuffs

Given the years of brutality many have faced at the hands of police, social media was quick to roast the department for showing off pink cuffs.




A Breast Cancer Awareness campaign from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, peculiarly featuring pink handcuffs, has drawn widespread criticism.

Earlier this week, the department announced it would be presenting a check “generated through the sales of specially designed LASD pink patches, challenge coins, fashion wear, and several other items” to the Pomona Valley Breast Health Center. 

On Tuesday, the department said Sheriff Alex Villanueva had presented a check worth $10,500 to the center, with proceeds having come from the Pink Patch Project. The project is described as a collaborative effort among the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association and more than 500 public safety agencies. The pink patches are sold to both public safety officials and the general public, as are other merch items including t-shirts and stuffed animals.

One day later, the department shared a photo across all of its social channels showing pink handcuffs, which Villanueva said are “meant to grab your attention as we raise awareness.” 

Pink badges & pink handcuffs, all meant to grab your attention as we raise awareness and pray for a cure to end Breast Cancer!

Because of Covid, many women have put off mammograms and other cancer screenings. pic.twitter.com/xULYFpV8ai

— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff_33) April 15, 2021

While the cuffs were not part of the aforementioned benefit sale, their appearance in the campaign has been questioned. Over on Facebook, for example, one person joked “Is there a color to end police brutality?” while another added “Good ol’ tyrants.” And on Twitter, the pushback has been even more prevalent.

In unfortunately related news, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to seven years behind bars earlier this month in connection with leading a fake raid.

"between 1980 and 2016, the number of women incarcerated in American jails and prisons increased by more than **700 percent**, from 26,378 in 1980 to 213,722 in 2016." https://t.co/g8M7sedvHf

— nobody from nowhere (@OLAASM) April 15, 2021

Now tell us how extrajudicial murders at the hands of law enforcement affects women. https://t.co/qFwkO5Oxb1

— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) April 15, 2021

love that the last thing ill think before im murdered to death after being handcuffed is 'thank god theyre raising awareness about breast cancer' https://t.co/cJqNSZjaYf

— tracy clayton jr the 3rd (@brokeymcpoverty) April 15, 2021

who thought this was a good idea? https://t.co/6SAQvbPzMH

— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) April 15, 2021

This society’s fixation with police & prisons is pathological & deeply disturbing https://t.co/Sc3JqGXjs4

— Bree Newsome Bass (@BreeNewsome) April 15, 2021

no metaphor for transparently meaningless symbols meant to show care for others quite like “we’ve changed the colors of the restraints we’ll lock you in” https://t.co/VvQm8VzZTU

— Leor Galil (@imLeor) April 15, 2021

i love america. stupidest country in the world ever created. it’s like a tv show about how stupid a country can be. amazing. https://t.co/5EpAjanwjL

— p.e. moskowitz (@_pem_pem) April 15, 2021

As a breast cancer survivor, I cannot tell you how much I hate this. The pepto bismol pinkification of everything has to stop. Defund the police and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. https://t.co/qp3ZvlE1mD

— Nani ✨🏹✨ (@lenubienne) April 15, 2021

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