A woman called the police on a little girl selling water on a hot day
An 8-year-old girl was selling water outside of her San Francisco apartment building when she had the police called on her. The reason? Well, apparently it was because she didn’t have a permit. Yup, you read that correctly.
8-year-old Jordan wants to go to Disneyland. After her mom Erin Austin lost her job, the little girl decided to sell water to raise money for the trip. At some point, a woman — who has been identified as Alison Ettel by The Huffington Post — came over and called the police on Jordan.
— Ms.Hardbody (@_ethiopiangold) June 23, 2018
Austin captured part of the exchange on camera and filmed the woman as she ducked behind the staircase with her cellphone.
“She’s calling the police on an 8-year-old little girl,” Austin can be heard saying on-camera.
“Yeah, and illegally selling water without a permit?” Ettel says while on the phone.
“On my property,” Austin replied.
“It’s not your property,” Ettel said.
The footage quickly went viral on Twitter, and many expressed their outrage over the fact that a grown, white woman was harassing a black child for literally no reason at all. Many people are noting that the story felt very, very similar to some others stories we’ve seen recently. Like that time a white woman called the cops on a black family for using a grill in a public park. Or that other time a white woman called the cops on a group of black women who were leaving their Air B&B. Or that other other a white woman called campus police because two Native American boys were on a college tour. And don’t forget that time a white student called the police on a black student for taking a nap.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/1010616553681899520
Things that white children do that are adorable become crimes when black and brown children do them. Crimes that create grounds for violence, searches, deportation and death. Think of all the times you broke the law in “harmless” ways and realize our skin color protects us. https://t.co/JeNLYrwl0X
— Guy Branum (@guybranum) June 23, 2018
How miserable of a person do you have to be to call the police on a little girl selling bottled water??? https://t.co/tQcb6PBQre
— Timothy DeLaGhetto (@TimothyDeLaG) June 24, 2018
It’s a slippery slope and gateway liquid. First you sell water, then lemonade. Have to stop this madness before it evolves into a carbonated beverage.— Drew Paul (@StrykerAndrews) June 23, 2018
Good Lord! It's the equivalent of a child's lemonade stand. In my community, it's practically against the (unwritten) law to pass by without buying whatever a child is selling.— PerSisters (@PERSlSTERS) June 23, 2018
Jordan’s cousin, who posted the footage on Twitter, had some choice words for people who didn’t think that this was an act of racism.
And this is my little cousin just so you guys can see pic.twitter.com/yQEEB8uZ2A— Ms.Hardbody (@_ethiopiangold) June 23, 2018
For all of you saying it's not about race why didn't she stop to harass the white mean that we're selling tickets and teeshirts but thought calling the police on a child was okay? Don't answer. Just ask yourself that.— Ms.Hardbody (@_ethiopiangold) June 23, 2018
Ettel told The Huffington Post that there was “no racial component to it” and that she “pretended” to call the cops. According to Ettel’s account, she was working from her office when the voices downstairs became too distracting.
“They were screaming about what they were selling,” she said. “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.”
Okay, so, if the sound was really the issue then why go downstairs and make a big fuss about the child not having a permit? That story doesn’t quite add up. Like, at all.
Thankfully, there was a glimmer of goodness behind this whole awful story. One stranger decided to make it his mission to get Jordan to Disneyland. He bought the whole family tickets and reminded the world that there is kindness out there.
“My cousin posted the video on twitter and it went viral on there so this man Brannon found out my daughter was selling bottles of water to go to Disneyland and he decided to buy her 4 tickets thank you so much @brannonmusic we thank and appreciate you so much,” Austin wrote on Instagram. “I never expected all of this to come from me posting a video of a woman who was harassing my daughter. Thank you for teaching her all people aren’t so shitty.”