The man who wore a KKK-style hood to a Vons grocery store in Santee, California on May 2 will not face charges, San Diego County sheriff’s officials say.

Images of the man shopping in the hood prompted national outrage and caused the police department to look into the matter more closely.

There was not enough evidence to charge him with a crime, a sheriff’s press release reads.

“The man expressed frustration with the coronavirus and having people tell him what he can and cannot do,” the release says. “He said that wearing the hood was not intended to be a racial statement. In summary he said, ‘It was a mask and it was stupid.’ ”

The release also noted that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that hateful speech is still protected under freedom of speech.

“That said, this incident should serve as a reminder for anyone contemplating wearing or displaying items so closely associated with hate and human suffering that our society does not hold in high regard those who do so,” the release says. “Santee is a city of families and the community is rightfully disgusted at this man’s despicable behavior.”

The man removed the hood after a store supervisor told him to remove it or leave.

A few days after the May 2 hood display, another shopper at Food 4 Less in Santee wore a swastika mask. He removed the mask when asked by deputies, and called it a protest against face mask policies.

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