Permit Patty

Permit Patty

Part of a series on White Cop-Caller Nicknames. [View Related Entries]

Updated Oct 04, 2018 at 01:51PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jun 25, 2018 at 10:57AM EDT by Adam.

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Permit Patty is a nickname given to Oakland, California woman Alison Ettel after she allegedly called the police on an eight-year-old black girl and her mother for selling water outside her apartment. After a video of the incident circulated online, Ettel was mocked in memes and her profession as the CEO of a medicinal marijuana company for animals was pointed at as illustrative of the difference between being white and black in America. The situation drew comparisons to BBQ Becky, another Oakland, California woman who several weeks prior had called the police because of a group of black people having a barbecue.


On June 23rd, 2018, Twitter user @_ethipoiangold, the 8-year old girl's cousin, tweeted a video of Ettel evidently on the phone with the police after calling them because the girl and her mother were selling water "without a permit." @_ethiopiangold used the hashtag "#PermitPatty" (shown below). The mother, who goes by @ladyesowavy on Instagram, also posted the video, and gained over 1.2 million views.[1]


The Huffington Post[2] interviewed Ettel later the day the video began going viral. Ettel claimed that the incident began because the girl and her mother were "screaming" about the water. She also claimed she was bluffing when she said she was going to call the police, but also said she was on the phone with her building's security team. She stated that the issue was not race-related and she regretted the way she handled the situation. "That was a mistake, a complete mistake. Please don’t make me sound horrible,” she told the Huffington Post.

911 Call

On June 28th, San Francisco's KTVU posted audio of the 911 call Ettel made that day, which she had claimed she was only pretending to make (shown below). The call abruptly ends after the operator attempts to transfer her to the police, though it unclear if they or Ettel hung up the phone. The update was covered by Daily Dot[4] and a thread about the news on /r/funny[5] gained over 2,300 points.

Online Reaction

Twitter users reacted with outrage at the video. Actress Gabrielle Union tweeted about the video, gaining over 3,400 retweets and 11,000 likes (shown below, left). User @LeftSentThis pointed out that it was an example of how white people used their proximity to police protection as a "weapon" against people of color, gaining over 2,900 retweets and 7,500 likes (shown below, right).

Gabrielle Union @itsgabrielleu Followv I. CANNOT. Ma'am? MA'AM?!?! This woman asks to speak to somebody's manager on the daily. She permanently wears folks OUT Rajethiopiangold So my little cousin was selling water and didn't have a permit so this lady decided to call the cops on an 8 year old. #PermitPatty Show this thread 0:15 3:55 PM- 23 Jun 2018 LEFT @LeftSentThis Follow Toxic-white-people feel like it is LITERALLY against the law for Black and Brown folks to disobey their request. They immediately jump into citizens arrest mode, playing the role of deputy doin' too much, using their whiteness and its proximity to police protection as a weapon.

It later came to light that Ettel was the CEO of a medicinal marijuana dispensary for dogs and their owners.[3] Twitter users pointed out the social inequity that led a white woman who sells marijuana to call the police on a black girl selling water. Shaun King pointed out the hypocrisy, gaining over 9,600 retweets and 19,000 likes (shown below, left). User @mother_pug showed screenshots of emails from several dispensaries in the area cutting ties with Ettel (shown below, right).

Shaun King @ShaunKing Following l've been trying to reach Alison Ettel but she has deleted her Facebook page and made all of her accounts private. She sells weed for dogs for a living. I'm hearing that she hates 8 year old Black girls who sell bottles of water. mother pug @mother pug Follow Replying to @Shaunking FYI many dispensaries have cut ties with #PermitPatty after seeing the video. She will face consequences Bart Szkut To: Sarah C Cc: info 3:51 PM Details BS Hi again Sarah, Hi Sarah, I forgot to mention that we had pulled Treatwells product line as soon as we saw the video. We do not support that type of behavior! Thank you for supporting our community. HelloMD is investigating a recent incident posted on social media involving one of our partners. While we still dont have all the facts, please be assured that we don't condone racism or discrimination of any kind, and this incident had nothing to do with any of our employees or events Please let us know if you have any further НС To: Sarah C&1 more... Details Best Melinda Sarah, We are quite taken aback to hear about that! Thank you for forwarding this information over to us. We have forwarded it to the product manager for consideration and support. Very sorry to have heard of this, but again, thank you for spreading the awareness Melinda Rodriguez Assist GM Barbary Coast Dispensary 952 Mission St., SF, CA 94103 1 415.243.4400 Namaste, Team HERB O- 844.HERB.213

Twitter user @_ethiopiangold quickly drew the comparison between Ettel and "BBQ Becky" in a tweet that gained over 17,000 retweets and 72,000 likes (shown below).

Raj @_ethiopiangold Followv We gotta new meme tho y all #PermitPatty

This, along with Ettel's profession led to the creation of several memes, regarding the incident (examples shown below).


Various Examples

Patty you got my dog weed? Hold on Becky. I see black people. schátz did you call the cops? YEP! Matthew A. Cherry @MatthewACherry Follow When you see between the cracks in the bathroom stall. #PermitPatty o greg Follow @greg23668445 having his last conversation with his supplier before she goes away #AlisonEttel #PermitPatty 2018 Remastered Version @droCO_dragon Follow v #PermitPatty dealer Now we got find another

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