A San-Diego area community is up in arms after photos of a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood surfaced online. Apparently, the man was “adhering” to the county’s requirement to have facial coverings on while in public.
The unidentified man was in Vons – located on Mission Gorge Road in Santee – on Saturday, and was asked by multiple clerks to remove the hood or leave the store. He made no effort to follow the requests, but removed the hood after he got to the checkout line. This was after a supervisor asked him to remove the hood or leave the store.
The man chose to remove the hood, and left the store after making his purchase.
In multiple photos that surface on social media on Sunday, the man is seen pushing his cart through the produce section, still in the hood. He is seen in at least one of the photos without the hood on. The pictures showed a white, middle-aged man.
The photos sparked outrage, with city leaders and various residents condemning the action.
Santee Mayor John Minto and other members of the City Council posted a statement addressing the incident: "There was an incident in Santee on Saturday where citizens photographed a male wearing attire that depicted a symbol of hatred. 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."
A Vons spokeswoman released a statement to Times of San Diego on Sunday, calling the incident “disturbing” for the store’s customers and associates.
The statement read: "At Vons, fostering an environment of courtesy, dignity and respect is one of our highest priorities, and we work hard to hold everyone in our stores to these standards, including customers. Unfortunately, an alarming and isolated incident occurred at our Vons store in Santee, where a customer chose an inflammatory method of wearing a face covering. Needless to say, it was shocking. Several members of our team asked the customer to remove it, and all requests were ignored until the customer was in the checkout area. This was a disturbing incident for our associates and customers, and we are reviewing with our team how to best handle such inappropriate situations in the future."