White Woman Calls Police On Eight-Year-Old Black Girl Selling Bottled Water

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White people unnecessarily reporting people of colour to the police has become a painfully frequent genre of news lately.

The outrageous situations have been documented time and time again, whether it’s for having a BBQ, sitting in Starbucks, napping in a campus dorm lounge, playing golf too slowly… the list goes on.

This time, a white woman called the police on an eight-year-old black girl for selling water ‘illegally’ outside an apartment building. Yes that’s right, an eight-year-old.

Just as the jobsworth who reported a black family’s barbecue in California triggered the hashtag #BBQBecky, this woman is being nicknamed #PermitPatty.

A video posted on Instagram shows a white woman on the phone in San Francisco, apparently calling the police and can be heard saying the girl was ‘illegally selling water without a permit’.

The woman on the phone, Alison Ettel, said that the phone call had ‘no racial component to it’ and claims she only ‘pretended’ to call the police.

The video, taken by the girl’s mum, shows Alison on the phone smiling and then ducking down trying to hide from the camera.

Ettel spoke to Huffington Post, saying:

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.

It was stupid. 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.

Ettel told HuffPo that the incident had left her feeling ‘horrible and heart-wrenched’, and it that it began because the girl’s mother was ‘screaming’.

She said:

They were screaming about what they were selling. 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 said she could hear the screaming from her office for hours and ‘snapped’ before she bluffed a phone call to San Francisco’s police department.

Now the footage of her calling the police has gone viral, Ettel said that she feels ‘discriminated against’.

The Twittersphere did some digging on Ettel and rejoiced in the irony that she is CEO of a company that sells marijuana products for people and animals yet she kicked off at a young girl selling water.

One user wrote:

Imagine being a white women selling cannbis calling the police on a black girl for selling water. Imagine the privilege. #PermitPatty

In response to white people calling the police on people of colour for no reason, in particular BBQ Becky, Oakland held a huge black cookout called ‘BBQing while black’.

It was a beautiful community event that showed powerful solidarity against everyday racism.

As these events make their way into mainstream media more and more, the prejudice behind it is becoming blatant, and I hope that what is and isn’t appropriate to report to the police is becoming more obvious.

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