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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Man who wore KKK hood in grocery store says it wasn’t a ‘racial statement’

A man who wore a Ku Klux Klan-style hood in a San Diego-area grocery store will not be charged with a hate crime.

The incident took place on May 2, in a Vons grocery store in Santee, California.

READ MORE: California man in KKK hood while grocery shopping sparks investigation

According to witnesses, the man refused to remove the hood despite being asked by store employees and management. Photos of the man shopping in the symbol of racial hatred quickly went viral on social media.

In a statement from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, “The man expressed frustration with the coronavirus and having people tell him what he can and cannot do. He said that wearing the hood was not intended to be a racial statement. In summary, he said, ‘It was a mask and it was stupid.'”

The sheriff’s office said that they, the U.S. attorney’s office and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office investigated and found “insufficient evidence” to charge the man.

Following the incident, Santee Mayor, John Minto released a statement saying, “Santee, its leaders, and I will not tolerate such behavior. Santee and its citizens are great, and this particular individual’s actions are not representative of us as a people and a wonderful city.”

The sheriff’s department statement further read that the incident should “serve as a reminder for anyone contemplating wearing or displaying items so closely associated with hate and human suffering that our society does not hold in high regard those who do so.”

READ MORE: Joe Biden links Trump and KKK in speech condemning hate

According to the Times of San Diego, one eyewitness to the incident said that the man was standing behind her in line, she took a photo of him and said that “a man in a wheelchair [went] past and saluted him and he laughed.”

Santee has a history of white supremacists and skinhead activities that have earned it the nickname of ‘Klantee’.

While the sheriff’s department declined to press charges, in their statement they said, “Santee is a city of families, and the community is rightfully disgusted at this man’s despicable behavior.”

The post Man who wore KKK hood in grocery store says it wasn’t a ‘racial statement’ appeared first on TheGrio.

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