#PermitPatty: Woman Calls Police On Child Selling Water

#PermitPatty has been the latest story in viral news, after a video was posted showing a woman reporting a child to the police in San Francisco for selling water outside her home. Eight-year-old Jordan Austin was selling water without a permit, prompting Alison Etthel to contact the authorities and report her.

The incident was captured on video and shared on Instagram through Jordan’s mum, Erin. It was also shared on Twitter by her cousin Raje Lee, both using the #PermitPatty hashtag. The video has been viewed nearly 7 million times on Twitter in just two days, and another 1.1 million on Instagram. Let’s take a look for ourselves, shall we?

“[Jordan] was selling water bottles when [Alison] just rudely approached her, like: ‘I need to see your permit’, Raje spoke to The Huffington Post.

“Erin stepped in and told her to leave her kid alone. That’s when the lady proceeded to call the police.”

As for the woman in the video, Alison is reportedly the CEO of a medicinal marijuana company. However, one organisation in the state (where marijuana is legal) say they will no longer sell her products. It also sparked the discussion of the lack of equality in America between black and white individuals.

Alison herself has commented on the incident too, claiming that there was “no racial component” in calling the police and that her decision was “stress related” because of the noise Jordan was making on the street. She also claimed that she only “pretended” to call the police.

“I completely regret that I handled that so poorly,” she said. “I should have never confronted her. That was a mistake, a complete mistake.”

Alison also told The Huffington Post she has been receiving death threats online, and that she feels “discriminated against” for her mistake. She also apologised to the family effected, but NBC News reported that Jordan and Erin would not accept her apology.

There have been similar incidents prior to this one, including two boys in Stapleton, Colorado who were forced to shut down their lemonade stand by police after a neighbour’s complaint. Another incident was last year when a man in Discovery Bay, California threatened to call the police on a young girl’s lemonade stand because she didn’t have a business licence.

And finally, in another case in the United Kingdom, a five-year-old girl in Mile End, East London, was fined £150 for her lemonade stand. All of these incidents involved white children. We guess the days of innocent lemonade stands and such, are long gone, eh?

Despite what happened, Jordan continued to sell water the next day and didn’t seem phased about Patty. She was reportedly selling it to help contribute to a family holiday to Disneyland. But after Raje’s video went viral, someone bought four tickets for Jordan and her family to visit the theme park. Nice! As for Alison, she’s become the centre of memes mocking the incident.

It just goes to show that you should always be careful of how you approach things, as you may just find yourself in the centre of a viral hashtag and many memes to follow you for the rest of your life. Oh, and also, don’t report kids to the police for just having fun and selling things to raise money, because it kind of makes you look like a complete asshole!


Story by Emily Clark

Featured Image Credit: WWLP.com

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