A white San Francisco business owner called the police on a Black 8-year-old girl for selling water on the sidewalk without a permit. Now, she’s now seeing the consequences of her actions.
Erin Austin, the mother of 8-year-old Jordan, pulled out her phone and started filming a woman named Alison Ettel, who’s now known online as “Permit Patty.” Patty called the police when she heard Jordan making too much “noise” selling water in front of her apartment.
Ettel is the CEO of a medical marijuana company called TreatWell Tinctures. According to the company website, “TreatWell was founded in 2015 to provide the highest quality cannabis products for both people and animals.”
The now viral video has cost Ettel’s company one of her clients. Magnolia, a marijuana dispensary in Oakland, is discontinuing its sale of TreatWell products after seeing video of #PermitPatty’s unnecessary 911 call. The company says although the Treatwell brand is one of their best-selling products, the cannabis company is cutting ties with Ettel’s and donating proceeds from the remaining products.
“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,” Magnolia said in a statement on Instagram. “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.”
Jordan’s situation is somewhat of an extension of a previous incident in Oakland where a white woman called the police on a group of Black people hosting a barbecue. The woman argues that permits were necessary to use charcoal to which the counter argument by many others including local police is that 911 is to be used for emergencies.
In a phone interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Ettel showed regret for calling the police.
“It was wrong and I wish I could take it back,” she told the newspaper. “Believe me, I wish I never had done that.”
#PermitPatty also made a news broadcast appearance this morning, claiming her call was never racially motivated — she just couldn’t stand the sound a little girl selling $2 bottled waters on a hot and sunny San Francisco day.