A man who wore what appeared to be a Ku Klux Klan hood to a grocery store earlier this month will not face charges, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release on May 11.
The man was photographed by shoppers at Vons in Santee, California, on May 2, while wearing the white hood, face fully covered except for two holes around the eyes. The photograph was shared by San Diego’s Anti-Defamation League regional director Tammy Gillies.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department had been looking into the incident to decide if it would pursue criminal charges.
The sheriff’s department said Monday that during an interrogation with investigators, the man “expressed frustration with the coronavirus and having people tell him what he can and cannot do.”
The man told investigators 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.
After a review from the U.S. 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,” the sheriff’s department said.
The man was not identified in the news release.
The CNN Wire contributed to this report