The name “Permit Patty” became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter Saturday (Jun. 23) after a video went viral showing a white woman supposedly calling the police on an 8-year-old black girl for the crime of “illegally selling water” without first obtaining the proper permits.
WATCH: #PermitPatty Video Shows White Woman Calling Police on 8-Year-Old Black Girl for “Illegally Selling Water Without a Permit”
The internet worked fast to identify this horrible woman and revealed that her real name is Alison Ettel.
The little girl’s mother captured the entire incident on video and shared it on social media, where it quickly made its way around the whole internet.
The video shows Ettel appearing to call the cops on a little girl selling water to baseball fans in front of her apartment building. When she noticed that she was being filmed, she tried to duck behind a wall like a coward.
After the girl’s mother called her out for trying to hide, Permit Patty stood back up and accused the child of “illegally selling water without a permit.”
In response to her newfound fame—or, in her case, infamy—which caused her to be dragged all over Twitter, the 44-year-old woman deleted all of her personal social media pages, including her Facebook and Instagram.
The internet is comparing Ettel to BBQ Becky, the white woman who called police on a black family for “illegally” BBQing at a park in Oakland back in April. Oakland is part of the “San Francisco Bay” area, and Permit Patty’s incident also happened in San Francisco.
Here’s what you need to know about “Permit Patty” aka Alison Ettel:
1Alison Ettel seemed to call the police on an 8-year-old girl selling water to baseball fans outside her apartment building. Ettel later said she was just bluffing about calling the police.
According to a family member—a woman named Raj on Twitter who says she’s the little girl and her mom’s cousin—said the girl and her mom live near AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants played the San Diego Padres on Friday (Jun. 22). The little girl was standing outside her apartment building saying “Cold water #2. Cold water $2” hoping to sell water to baseball fans walking by.
The girl’s mother was outside too, and noticed Ettel using her cellphone to call police, similar to how BBQ Becky called the cops on a black family for BBQing with a charcoal grill at Lake Merritt—a park in Oakland, California. So she pulled out her phone and started recording Ettel. When Ettel noticed she was being filmed, she tried to hide behind a concrete wall.
“This woman don’t want to let a little girl to sell some water, she’s calling the police on an 8-year-old girl,” the girl’s mother said. “You can hide all you want, the whole world gonna see you boo.” That’s when Ettel stands up to face the camera and accuses the child of “illegally selling water without a permit.” The mother replied, “On my property” and Ettel told her, “It’s not your property.”
The little girl’s mother posted the video of Ettel to social media Saturday afternoon, and it instantly went viral, sparking the Twitter hashtag and nickname #PermitPatty.
“Make this bitch go viral like #bbqbecky she’s #permitpatty,” the mother (@ladyesowavy) wrote in the caption of the video on Instagram. “[W]ould you rather my daughter be out here getting into shit Fr cuz an 8-year-old selling water in front of her apartment building where she’s lived her whole life is NOT a reason to call the Police.”
She shared an update on Instagram a few hours later, thanking her supporters and denouncing the haters, telling them to “kiss [her] and [her] kids’ a**es.” She also said police never even showed up.
“I’m trying to read all the messages and reply to all the positive and supportive souls in this world…,” she captioned the post. “THANK YOU FOR SHOWING US ITS NOT ALL BAD!!! If you would like to support my daughter all funds sent to my cashapp will be for her!! $ladyesowavy FYI SFPD did NOT show up.”
Ettel told the Huffington Post she was just “pretending” to call the police because she was annoyed by the girl and her mother “screaming about what they were selling.” She added, “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 was working in her office when she first heard the “screaming.” She said she didn’t close her windows because it was too hot and the girl and her mother were so loud that closing the windows wouldn’t have stopped the noise.
Ettel told HuffPo that she asked the building’s security to do something about the “screaming,” but they said they couldn’t do anything, so she took matters into her own hands and confronted the woman and her daughter and told them to stop. She said she was only kidding when she told them she was going to call the police.
“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,” she said.
2#PermitPatty quickly went viral on Twitter, sparking outrage and inspiring hilarious memes. Alison said she’s getting threats and feels “discriminated against.”
— Sasuke (@_ethiopiangold) June 23, 2018
Alison Ettel’s cop-calling incident is strikingly similar to one in April in which a white woman with entirely too much time on her hands actually sat on the phone with police for hours so that she could report a black family for “illegally” BBQing with a charcoal grill at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California.
After a video showing the Oakland incident went viral on social media, the woman earned the nickname “BBQ Becky” and became the subject of endless hilarious memes before being identified as 41-year-old Jennifer Schulte several days later.
But, unfortunately for Ettel, she didn’t get the privilege of just being known as her nickname, “Permit Patty,” as long as Schulte did because the internet worked quickly to reveal her information within hours of her video going viral.
Ettel said she’s now getting death threats and feels “discriminated against.”
“It was stupid,” she said. “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.”
Check out some of the best #PermitPatty tweets below:
Pro-tip: the correct response to little kids being entrepreneurial is to either buy from them or give them words of encouragement for their entrepreneurial efforts. #PermitPatty https://t.co/6S451pXBKO
— Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) June 23, 2018
A reboot of MTV’s Celebrity Death Match with BBQ Becky vs Permit Patty. pic.twitter.com/n7BwKF9ptN
— amber ruffin (@ambermruffin) June 23, 2018
White People: Pull yourself up by the bootstraps!
Black Girl: Okay.
White People: *calls police*#PermitPatty
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) June 23, 2018
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) June 23, 2018
This is why gentrification is a form of violence. This white woman is selling weed and profiting while black folks sit in prison for life for the same thing, but then she calls the cops on a little black girl selling bottled water. #PermitPatty https://t.co/q6cPmzSXPz
— Black Folks Saving America Again #Midterms2018 (@HollaBlackGirl) June 24, 2018
I still can’t get over #PermitPatty who sells weed for dogs for a living and has time to call cops on little black girls selling water on the street. ?????
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) June 24, 2018
Imagine being a white women selling cannbis calling the police on a black girl for selling water. Imagine the privilege. #PermitPatty
— Dimeji Babalola?? (@dimejibabalola) June 23, 2018
— Joe Blevins (@Joe_A_Blevins) June 24, 2018
If you get thirsty this weekend, go find #PermitPatty. She's gonna wake up to her entire block filled with kids selling water bottles.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) June 23, 2018
— Michelle Shining Elk (Untamed) ? (@MShiningElk) June 23, 2018
3Ettel runs a medical cannabis company called “Treat Well” that sells marijuana-infused treats for dogs, cats, and people.
Ettel is the CEO and co-founder of a company called “Treat Well,” which, according to the website, “was founded in 2015 to provide the highest quality cannabis products for both people and animals.” Treat Well’s website says it offers educational and consulting services such as dispensary training, patient consultations, corporate strategy, business services, product development, cannabis extraction consulting and cultivation consulting.”
“We recognized the need for high quality, consistency and easy titration in cannabis-infused products and set out to fill these needs. TreatWell specializes in providing non-psychoactive options for medicating with cannabis including CBD ratios and the raw, acidic compounds,” the site reads. “Our goal is to be on the cutting edge of cannabis research and to incorporate the latest thinking for what may help patients better with less.”
Though Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are similar molecularly, they are different in the way your body reacts to them. While THC has a psychoactive component that triggers endorphins in your brain to get you high, CBDs do not. The cannabis-infused products Ettel sells through her company Treat Well are use CBD, not THC, and do not get people or pets high.
Still, there the legality of Ettel’s business is highly questionable, because, SHOCKER!, in a pot calling the kettle black move, she doesn’t even have a permit to run her own company. Back in 2015, she said in an interview with SFGate that her business was “kind of like a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell” type of business. “We haven’t gotten any pushback yet,” Ettel said.
Ettel’s business has come under scrutiny “from everyone from the ASPCA to the Food and Drug Administration to the American Veterinary Medical Association” because using marijuana as a medicine for dogs is seen as “controversial.”
4Permit Patty says she got into the cannabis business after an illness. “I’m not supposed to be alive,” she says.
Alison Ettel said she’s only been in the business of medical marijuana for a few years but her partner has been in the cannabis industry for over 20 years.
Ettel said she comes from a “very professional background, doing everything from Wall Street think tanks and software companies, and I started getting into cannabis after I recovered from a coma caused by meningitis.” She added, “I’m not supposed to be alive today.”
Ettel said she’s “never gotten high, still haven’t gotten high, and have no interest in that.”
5Ettel’s resume includes graduating with a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and an undergrad degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as working in urban planning and research, equity trading, and software.
According to Alison Ettel’s LinkedIn, which has since been taken offline, she has two master’s degrees and one bachelor’s degree. She graduated from the University of Michigan with an MBA and a master’s in urban planning.
She received her undergraduate degree in economics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and has worked in the stock market, real estate, and for the Brookings Institution, in which she served as a research associate for Metropolitan Studies, where she “researched, helped author and fact-check the book ‘The Option for Urbanism.'” She also “researched and authored research papers on the real estate environment and urban choice.”
Ettel’s LinkedIn said she also put together a business plan for nano-fiber bandages and sold it to Dow Chemical.
But perhaps her biggest accomplishment in life so far, other than being a pressed AF white woman, was her medical marijuana company, which snagged her a feature story on the History Channel’s History Now channel on Facebook.
Ettle was also featured by Lady Buds in a recent Facebook post that said she’ll be part of an upcoming 2019 documentary on women in the cannabis industry.
Ettle was also supposed to be featured in an upcoming 2019 documentary by Lady Buds on women in the cannabis industry, but the company is now distancing themselves from her.
“Alison Ettel is no longer affiliated with the documentary ‘Lady Buds’ due to her racist and divisive actions,” said a statement from the company on Facebook. “Our project is committed to social justice and there is no room for hate or discrimination in society, the cannabis industry, or our film. We are removing all content that remotely promotes her or her business from our various platforms and will be removing her storyline from the film and all film materials.”