Shopper in KKK hood startles shoppers in California

A man wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood went shopping at a supermarket in the San Diego area and was photographed by shoppers who reported him to store management. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident as possible hate crime.

By World Israel News Staff

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department said Monday it is investigating the case of a man who wore a Ku Klux Klan hood while grocery shopping after the city ordered residents to wear face masks during the coronavirus crisis.

“Detectives from the Sheriff’s Department are looking into the matter and will pursue any appropriate criminal charges,” the department tweeted. “The Sheriff’s Department does not condone hate or any acts of intolerance in our communities.”

Spokesman Lt. Ricardo Lopez said the matter was being investigated as a hate incident, which could rise to the level of a hate crime “if supported by facts,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

A shopper named Tiam Tellez took photos and posted them on Facebook showing the man pushing a shopping cart while wearing the white hood, which is associated with a racist organization known for hate crimes that target African-Americans and Jews.

Tellez posted on his Facebook page his thanks to the management team at the Vons supermarket in San Diego suburb of Santee.

“Several employees came over together and told the man to either remove the hood or he would have to leave, so he removed the hood,” Tellez said.

A corporate spokeswoman told the San Diego Union-Tribune the grocery clerks repeatedly asked the man to remove the hood or leave the store, asking a final time when a supervisor found the man in a checkout line.

At that point the man removed the hood, purchased his items and left, the Tribune reported.

Local politicians and officials condemned the act and said such acts of intolerance were unacceptable.

The regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in the San Diego area thanked officials for “their strong response to this act of hate.”

The head of the NAACP office in San Diego, Francine Maxwell, called for a police investigation, saying the KKK hood could have provoked someone and escalated the situation.

“I think when law enforcement interjects themselves in a proactive manner, it helps with building community bridges with law enforcement,” Maxwell said.