A San Fransisco woman dubbed “Permit Patty” says she has received death threats after she gained viral infamy for a video of her purportedly calling the police on an 8-year-old girl who was selling bottled water on the street outside her apartment.
Alison Ettel told NBC’s Today show that she has been flooded with thousands of nasty emails after the video racked up millions of views on social media.
“Horrible, horrible images and death threats,” Ettel said, as she broke down in tears in the Today interview.
On Saturday, Ettel was filmed calling the police on an 8-year-old girl named Jordan outside her apartment near AT&T Park. Jordan’s mother, Erin Austin, recorded the video and can be heard telling Ettel: “This woman don’t want to let a little girl sell some water, she be calling police on an 8-year-old little girl. You can hide all you want, the whole world going to see ya, boo.”
“Yeah and – um – illegally selling water without a permit,” Ettel said into her phone, facing the camera.
Ettel said she confronted Jordan’s mother because of the noise outside her window as she was trying to work. “I tried to be polite but I was stern, ” she said.
Ettel told Today she was not proud of her actions and wanted apologize to Jordan and her mother.
Ettel told the Huffington Post that she didn’t actually call the police – and that she was only “pretending” to make a call.
“Permit Patty” is the latest in a series of white Bay Area residents going viral for calling the police or acting out against people of color in public spaces.
In May, a woman was dubbed “BBQ Becky” after a video of her calling the police on a group of black men having a barbeque in a public park without a permit went viral. A week after the incident hundred gathered at the park and held a “BBQing while black” event. A few weeks later, a video of an Oakland man thrashing a homeless man’s camp and dumping his belongings into a lake went viral. The man was dubbed “Jogger Joe” and led to the community holding a rally and starting a GoFundMe page that raised over $10,000 for the homeless man.