Local residents in San Diego are outraged at a vodka manufacturer for distributing a new line of vodka which calls itself "Southeast Red" after local gang activity.
Labels on the bottles of "Southeast Red" show a map of neighborhoods in San Diego notorious for gang activity. It is also colored red which is a color known by locals to be associated with violent gangs in the area.
The new line of vodka was first sold about a month ago and liquor store owners are seeing a rise in sales as they struggle to keep the vodka on the shelves.
Store owner Thomas Howell told KFMB that a whole case of "Southeast Red" sold out in two days. "I've had a couple people this evening ask when I'm going to get some more," he said.
Despite the controversy, Howell says the liquor has only brought him good business and he is ordering more cases.
Mario Lewis, community leader and founder of the neighborhood group 100 Strong, called the manufacturing and sale of such an insensitive product "disgraceful." He was also saddened to see a company "portray a community in gang-banging terms."
Other community leaders shared in Lewis's sentiment.
Bishop George D. McKinney, of St. Stephens Church of God in Christ said, "I do not believe it to be a compliment," during an interview with CNN.
He continued: "This I believe is negative notoriety. I fear this vodka ... will target people who are already struggling with so many problems."
However, Howell maintains that it has brought many more customers to the store and people feel the vodka is like a novelty or collector's item.
"People are buying it just for the bottle and sending it to their friends on the other coast," according to KFMB.
According to the label, the vodka is distilled in North America and bottled by Neradi3, a company based in Colorado.