A viral video appears to show a white woman calling police about an 8-year-old African American girl selling water near San Francisco's AT&T Park "without a permit." The woman in the video, Alison Ettel, claimed she was only pretending to call the police.
On Saturday, a Twitter user named "Raj" posted the 15-second clip, adding the caption, "So my little cousin was selling water and didn't have a permit so this lady decided to call the cops on an 8 year old." The Twitter user added the hashtag #PermitPatty.
"You can hide all you want. The whole world is going to see you," the mother filming the scene says.
Ettel then gets up, walks towards the camera and says into the police, "Illegally selling water without a permit."
"On my property," the mother adds.
"It's not your property," Ettel said.
Ettel, the founder of cannabis tincture company TreatWell Health, told HuffPost there was "no racial component" to the incident and claimed she only "pretended" to call the police on the girl. She said she only ducked down behind a wall to "find a quiet place where I could hear" a security guard she was talking to.
"They were screaming about what they were selling," Ettel claimed. "It was literally nonstop. It was every two seconds, 'Come and buy my water.' It was continuous and it wasn't a soft voice, it was screaming."
Ettel claimed she was bluffing when she told the mother and daughter she would call the police.
"I have no problem with enterprising young women. I want to support that little girl. It was all the mother and just about being quiet," she added.
"It was stupid," she told HuffPost. "I completely regret that I handled that so poorly. It was completely stress-related, and I should have never confronted her. That was a mistake, a complete mistake. Please don't make me sound horrible."
While the HuffPost said it did reach out to the mother, she said otherwise on Instagram, where her handle is laddesowavy.
"Just wanted to let everyone know that @HuffPost did not reach out to me nor did they ask my permission to use my child's image, yet somehow they got an interview with #PermitPatty and yet no other news outlet can get a hold of her," the mother wrote.
"@huffpost if people can get ahold of me through family out of state and just walk up and interview us I'm wondering how and when I supposedly decline to comment," the mother added. "Seems kinda funny #didshepayyoutopostthat ⁉️"
Ettel's company has already lost business because of the video. Magnolia Oakland said it will no longer offer TreatWell products.
"Treatwell was one of our best-selling products but to us, integrity is always before profits. For our remaining inventory, we are doing blow-out deals and donating all proceeds to a local non-profit," Magnolia Oakland wrote on Instagram. "We would love to donate to an organization that provides opportunities to young women of color interested in becoming entrepreneurs."0comments
The video reminded many of a case in Oakland in April, when a white woman called police on a black family setting up a barbecue in a park. She was nicknamed #BBQBecky.
Photo credit: Twitter/Raj