STAFFORD COURTHOUSE, Va. (AP) — A black man seen wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood at a Virginia shopping center Tuesday told sheriff's deputies that he was performing a social experiment, according to authorities.

The Stafford County Sheriff's Office was called to a Target store at the Stafford Marketplace around 2:30 p.m. to investigate reports of someone wearing the costume, Maj. Shawn Kimmitz said in a video statement posted to social media. Deputies found the person in the robe, identified him as a black man and determined he didn't live in the area, he added.

Deputies warned him about wearing a mask in public and he left the scene, Kimmitz said. Virginia law prohibits wearing masks with the intent to conceal identity in public.

A photo posted to Twitter by a witness at the shopping center showed someone dressed in the white robe and hood talking to deputies while others looked on.

The sheriff's office didn't identify the man.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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