A man who wore a Ku Klux Klan-style hood to a San Diego-area grocery store earlier this month will reportedly not be charged with a crime.
According to a statement from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, the department had been looking into the incident to decide if it would pursue criminal charges, however during an interrogation with investigators the still-to-be identified man "expressed frustration with the coronavirus and having people tell him what he can and cannot do."
San Diego County has issued guidance encouraging people to wear face masks when they leave their homes. The man told authorities that wearing the hood was not intended to be a racial statement.
"It was a mask and it was stupid," he said, according to the news release.
On May 2, the man was photographed by shoppers at Vons in Santee, California while wearing the white hood.
The sheriff's department said that after a review from the US Attorney's Office and the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, "it was determined there was insufficient evidence to charge the man who wore the Ku Klux Klan hood inside the store.”
According to those at the supermarket, the man refused to take off his hood after being confronted.
Shortly after the incident took place, Santee Mayor John Minto issued a statement reading, "The citizens and Vons employees took steps to address the situation. Many thanks to all who stepped forward to curtail this sad reminder of intolerance. 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."
Photo: Eric-Paul-Pierre PASQUIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images