Tattoo Bans

Body art is big. But the Marines and some police are cracking down on it

Timothy Archibals for TIME

Soares spent three years and $5,000 perfecting his tattoo but now must cover it up when on the job as an East Palo Alto, California, police detective.

There are two things Ed Soares is devoted to. One is his job as a detective for the East Palo Alto, Calif., police department, where he has worked for five years. The other is a large garish tattoo of St. Michael casting the devil into hell that adorns his forearm. The image is a work in progress, and Soares, 33, has spent three years and $5,000 getting it just the way he wants it. So he faced something of a test of allegiances this summer when the department forbade all its officers from displaying tattoos on the job. "It is not...

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