Twitter user @_ethiopiangold posted a video showing a woman she dubbed 'Permit Patty' appearing to call the police on her 8-year-old cousin.
The girl's crime? Selling bottled water without a permit outside AT&T Park during a San Francisco Giants baseball game, reports Law And Crime.
In the 15-second video, the person holding the camera follows the woman, who is walking away while talking on the phone, and says:
This woman don’t wanna let a little girl sell some water.
She’s calling the police on an 8-year-old little girl.
When the woman ducks behind the wall, the person filming says:
The world’s gonna see you, boo.
The police reportedly never showed up to the scene.
The clip has gone viral, ratcheting up over 3 million views, and the cousin later tweeted her thanks for the support...
...And the memes.
The left-hand photo in the tweet above is of 'BBQ Becky', a white woman who recently called the police on a black family in Oakland, California for having a barbecue by a lake.
The Twitter user also took time to call out people who say the white woman's actions were not fuelled by race.
Since the video went viral, the woman has received a torrent of abuse online and "feels discriminated against".
Speaking to HuffPost, the woman - who has since been named as Alison Ettel - said that "this has no racial component to it" and claims she only "pretended" to call the police after security said they could not intervene.
She told the publication she was feeling "horrible and heart-wrenched" since the incident, which she said began because the girl's mother was "screaming". She said:
They were screaming about what they were selling.
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.
She denies the issue was to do with race.
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.
It was stupid.
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.
indy100 has reached out to San Francisco Police Department for comment.