• The man who used a KKK hood as a face mask, which caused outrage, will not be charged
  • San Diego County Sheriff's Department said there was no sufficient evidence for a criminal offense
  • The man admitted that his coronavirus mask was "stupid" 

A man who wore a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) hood as a coronavirus mask while shopping at a grocery store in California will not be criminally charged despite the outrage, the sheriff confirmed Monday.

In a news release, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said there was no sufficient evidence for a criminal offense against the man, who was photographed shopping for food at Vons while wearing the KKK hood as his face mask May 2.

The photo went viral and was picked up and re-shared by Tammy Giles, the director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego.

Following an investigation by the authorities, however, it was determined 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," the sheriff's statement read. "In summary, he said, 'It was a mask, and it was stupid.'"

Face covering has been mandated in the San Diego County for people who are going out in public amid this health crisis. The Sheriff's Department said this incident should serve as a reminder for those who are thinking of "wearing or displaying items so closely associated with hate and human suffering" to reconsider their choices, given the community's reaction to the man's actions.

A man shopping at Vons in San Diego wore a KKK hood as his face mask but police say he will not be charged. Flickr

Employees at Vons apparently had to ask the man to remove his KKK hood but he ignored them. Gillies, on the other hand, condemned the man but said she is not shocked nor surprised when people openly express their hate. Mayor John Minto also made a statement after the photo went viral.

"Santee, its leaders, and I will not tolerate such behavior," the mayor said. "Santee and its citizens are great, and this particular individual's actions are not representative of us as a people and a wonderful city."