The white woman who appeared to call police on an 8-year-old black girl selling water in San Francisco said Monday that she has received an onslaught of hate mail and death threats since a video of the confrontation went viral, adding that her actions were never racially motivated.
Alison Ettel, dubbed “Permit Patty” on social media, was attacked online after video of her trying to hide while she was on the phone gained more than 1 million views after it was posted Saturday on Instagram.
Erin Austin, the mother of the 8-year-old girl, Jordan Rodgers, said her daughter was selling bottles of water in front of their home in an attempt to raise money because Austin recently lost her job. Jordan also wanted to get enough to pay for a trip to Disneyland.
It’s unclear what happened prior to the video, but in the short clip, Austin follows Ettel as the woman presses a phone to her ear and walks away.
“This woman don’t want a little girl to sell some water. She’s calling police on an 8-year-old little girl,” Austin says in the video as Ettel ducks behind a wall and out of sight. “You can hide all you want — the whole world is going to see you boo.”
But Ettel said the video tells only part of the story: She was working with her windows open on a hot day, while Austin and Rodgers shouted as they tried to sell water.
“I tried to be polite but I was stern,” Ettel told “Today” in an exclusive television interview. “And I said, ‘Please, I’m trying to work. You’re screaming. You’re yelling, and people have open windows. It’s a hot day. Can you please keep it down?'”
Austin denied Ettel was diplomatic in her approach.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Kalhan Rosenblatt