Tattoo Artist Covers Ex-Gang Members' Tattoos For Free
Chris Baker is a youth pastor who runs a tattoo parlor. In his free time, he helps ex-gang members and sex trafficking victims erase painful reminders of their pasts.
As a former warehouse manager, Baker heard many of his employee's regrets about joining gangs. When he was laid off from his lucrative job, he relied on tattoo commissions to pay the rent. He became a youth pastor, and though he earned much less than before, he was inspired to create Ink 180 and began covering tattoos for former members of the Latin Kings, Black Disciples and Aryan Nation.
Soon, donors began to approach him, and law enforcement wanted him to help with sex trafficking victims, mostly women whose pimps branded them with scannable barcodes. Baker was surprised to hear that this happened in the suburbs of Chicago.
"The first time you hear about it, you can't go back to being naive," he told the Naperville Sun.