Free removal of gang related, racist & human trafficking tattoos - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Free removal of gang related, racist & human trafficking tattoos in Dubuque

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Steven Pline of Dubuque is inked all over.

However, he's ready to remove one of them -- the gang sign he got 21 years ago. "A heart with a pitchfork on it, it's a gang tattoo. G.D."

Pline is getting rid of it at Retrospect Tattoo Removal, which opened this week. It's located at the Crow's Nest Tattoo shop at 169 Main Street.

The owner, Robert Bader is offering to get rid of certain tattoos for free. "Gang affiliation tattoos, anything that's racist, basically hate speech of any kind, and then human trafficking, or branding to claim dominance over a human being," he said.

Laser technology is used to fade away the ink.

"We're taking intense light beams and shooting it at the tattoo molecules, and they're being broken up," Bader said. "Your immune system is coming up, taking that garbage and taking it out of your system."

The session lasted no more than five minutes. "It don't feel that great. It hurts more than getting a tattoo," said Pline.

He said he was inspired to make the change for his kids. "I have five children and I don't want them to see me in any kind of violent light...I'm just not violent at all. I'm a big teddy bear," added Pline.

Typically it takes between four to eight sessions to remove a tattoo with the laser technology.

According to Bader, it depends on what kind of ink was used, how far into the body it is, also if the tattoo was done professionally.

Retrospect Tattoo Removal is taking consultations. For more information, visit: or their Facebook page:

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