By Associated Press - Friday, July 3, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Three Chicago police officers have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a department rule requiring them to cover their tattoos while on duty.

The lawsuit against the city of Chicago alleges the rule violates their First Amendment free speech rights.

One of the officers is a military veteran with a tattoo of a halo and wings in honor of fellow Marines killed in Iraq. The other officers’ tattoos depict St. Michael, the patron saint of police officers.

All three were hired before the policy went into effect last month.

The Chicago Tribune reported that spokesmen for the city’s Law Department and the police had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

Shortly before the policy change, the department said in statement that it was meant to “promote uniformity and professionalism.”

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