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'Permit Patty' Goes Viral After Threatening to Call Cops on Girl Selling Water in San Francisco

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Video of incident involving a woman claiming to call the police about an 8-year-old selling bottle water.  (Via @ladyesowavy on Instagram)

For the second time in just more than a month, the video of a white person calling the police on a person of color in the Bay Area has gone viral.

This latest incident involves a woman appearing to call the police on an 8-year-old girl selling water in San Francisco on Saturday. The video, which was posted to Twitter on Saturday morning, had more than 6 million views by Sunday afternoon.

In the video, the woman on the phone attempts to hide as the person behind the camera approaches her while saying, "This woman don't want to let a little girl sell some water. She calling the police on an 8-year-old little girl." The woman responds by saying the girl is, "illegally selling water without a permit."

The woman on the phone was immediately dubbed "#PermitPatty." This comes just more than a month after another white woman was dubbed "#BBQBecky" when she called the police on a group of people of color barbecuing at Lake Merritt in Oakland.


Hours after the #PermitPatty video was posted, the woman on the phone was identified as Alison Ettel, the CEO of Treatwell Tinctures, a company that sells cannabis pet products. In the hours since the video was posted, several business partners and affiliates have publicly severed ties or distanced themselves from Ettel and her company.

Ettel told the Huffington Post she was only pretending to call the police and was actually talking to building security about the mother and daughter "screaming."

“I had been putting up with this for hours, and I just snapped,” Ettel said.

She vehemently denies the issue had to do with race.

“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 said.

But Ettel, a white woman, calling the police on a black girl, did have many wondering if race did factor in.

KTVU identified the mother of the 8-year-old as Erin Austin, who said the incident happened outside their apartment, near AT&T Park.

Austin's cousin posted the video to Twitter, where it initially got traction. Later on Saturday, Austin posted to Instagram — where she had also posted the original video — that someone bought her daughter tickets to Disneyland, which, according to her post, was what the water bottle money was going toward.

You can see the girl celebrating her gift below:

Ettel, Austin, her cousin and the San Francisco Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

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