On a rare hot day in San Francisco this weekend, an 8-year-old African American girl was selling cold water near AT&T Park when a white woman called the police on her for operating without a permit.
The incident, captured on video by the girl’s cousin, has sparked an uproar on social media, drawing comparisons to a recent incident in Oakland in which a white woman dubbed #BBQBecky called 911 on a group of black people having a barbecue in a public park. In response, Twitter users have dubbed the San Francisco incident #PermitPatty.
And this is my little cousin just so you guys can see pic.twitter.com/yQEEB8uZ2A— Raj (@_ethiopiangold) June 23, 2018
The #PermitPatty caller has been identified on social media as Alison Ettel. Reached by the Huffington Post, Ettel said that the incident “has no racial component to it” and maintains she only “pretended” to call the police.
“They were screaming about what they were selling,” Ettel reportedly told the publication. “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 has been identified as the CEO of a cannabis company called TreatWell and in light of the incident, major local retailers of TreatWell’s reportedly popular products have announced plans to stop carrying them.
As of today, Magnolia will no longer be carrying Treatwell Tinctures. After seeing this video of their CEO, calling the police on an 8 year old entrepreneur selling water on a hot day, we decided without hesitation that we could no longer patronize her company. To our amazing patients who use the Treatwell products, please know we are working to ensure we can bring on some new amazing and ethical brands. 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. We would love to donate to an organization that provides opportunities to Young women of color interested in becoming entrepreneurs. If you have any suggestions on non profits for us to donate to or licensed and complaint tincture companies, please tag them below. #cannabiscommunity #integrityovereverything #magnoliaoakland
The #PermitPatty incident is playing out in the wake of other prominent incidents of seemingly racially motivated 911 calls. Most prominently, two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for no apparent reason when an employee called 911 on them. In response to that event, Starbucks closed 8,000 of its stores on weekday afternoon for a day of “racial bias education.”