A man who wore a KKK hood into a California grocery store may be charged with a hate crime, according to police. The incident took place over the weekend in the town of Santee, with the unidentified man entering the store and walking up and down the aisles with his cart while he shopped. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the story and sharing that the town had just enacted a public mask requirement for all citizens.
The man was eventually asked to remove his mask. He complied, then paid for his groceries and left. The police were not called to the scene but did comment later. "The Sheriff’s Department does not condone hate or any acts of intolerance in our communities," the department said via a news release. Santee Mayor John Minto also issued a statement, thanking "all who stepped forward to curtail this sad reminder of intolerance." He added, "Santee, its leaders, and I will not tolerate such behavior."
City mask ordinances have been causing issues across the country, with one Oklahoma city recently having to do anyway with its guidelines because of violent threats from residents who refuse to wear masks. Stillwater, Oklahoma City Manager Norman McNickle issued a statement on the matter, saying, "In the short time beginning on May 1, 2020, that face coverings have been required for entry into stores/restaurants, store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse. In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm. This has occurred in three short hours and in the face of clear medical evidence that face coverings helps contain the spread of Covid-19."
"Many of those with objections cite the mistaken belief the requirement is unconstitutional, and under their theory, one cannot be forced to wear a mask. No law or court supports this view," McNickle continued. "It is further distressing that these people, while exercising their believed rights, put others at risk." He later added, "It is unfortunate and distressing that those who refuse and threaten violence are so self-absorbed as to not follow what is a simple show of respect and kindness to others."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of face masks to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, previously stating, "CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others."