SANTEE, Calif. – After images surfaced of a shopper at a Santee Vons who was said to be wearing what appeared to be a KKK-style hood, the community has expressed outrage.
On Monday, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office said the man has not been identified, however, deputies are reviewing surveillance video.
Detectives have been receiving calls after the incident from community members who are concerned about their safety.
“There’s no place and no need for people to be acting like that and yes people are fearful,” San Diego County District 2 Supervisor Dianne Jacob told KGTV. Jacob called the incident “abhorrent” and an act of “blatant racism”.
According to KGTV, the Anti-Defamation League denounced the incident and the NAACP San Diego is calling on local law enforcement to investigate and provide a full report to the community.
Vons shared a statement regarding the incident:
“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.”
Santee Mayor John Minto made it clear Monday, that the city will not tolerate such behavior.
“The message that was sent was an ugly one and that means we must respond but let’s put this behind us, too. Let’s overwhelm this one ugly incident with love and compassion,” Jacob added.