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Likening lockdown policies to Nazism, US protester wears face mask with swastika

Confrontation latest in series of incidents in which anti-shutdown protesters claim social distancing rules are akin to policies of Nazi Germany

Dustin Hart wearing a swastika face mask to protest social distancing regulations. (YouTube screen-grab)
Dustin Hart wearing a swastika face mask to protest social distancing regulations. (YouTube screen-grab)

A shopper at a suburban San Diego supermarket was asked to remove a face mask decorated with a swastika.

It’s another incident of stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus crisis being likened to those of Nazi Germany.

The man, identified by the Times of San Diego as Dustin Hart, wore the mask in the Food 4 Less market in Santee on May 7. The incident on Thursday came days after another man was seen wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood as a face covering in another supermarket in the community.

“It was 100 percent intended to be a peaceful protest,” Hart told NBC San Diego. “The only Nazi thing was trying to say is the governor is acting like one up on his podium gloating his power the only and taunting his power.”

But the Times reported that Hart posted a 14-minute video in part showing his confrontation with two sheriff’s deputies inside the store to BitChute, a service that the Southern Poverty Law Center says hosts “hate-fueled material.” Hart says in the video that “We have a Nazi for a governor. Now you guys are here, literally proving my point.”

“I would just like to go back to work,” Hart told the deputies. “All I get to do is sit home and fester. I want to get out of my house and go to work and be productive.”

Hart was not arrested by the deputies.

“When deputies asked for the symbol to be removed, the man complied,” according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Department, which added that investigators will continue to look into the matter.

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