(NEW YORK POST) – A woman captured on viral video calling police on a black girl who was selling bottled water in San Francisco insists the incident had nothing to do with race — just the “disturbance” caused by the young entrepreneur, according to a report.
“I want the little girl to know that it’s not her fault,” Alison Ettel, who is white, groveled on NBC’s “Today” show Monday, and said she has received hate mail and death threats.
“I want the mother to know this was nothing to do with race at all. It had everything to do with the disturbance. I was very stressed out. I definitely made comments that I never would have in any other situation, and it’s not an excuse.”
Ettel has been flooded with messages of condemnation after 8-year-old Jordan Rodgers’ mom, Erin Austin, posted the video on her Instagram account, in which the woman is seen holding a phone to her ear.
Austin, who recently lost her job, told All the Moms blog that Jordan was trying to raise money outside their apartment building because she wanted to go to Disneyland.
“She asked me where’s my permit? And I didn’t know what a permit was,” Jordan, who was hawking hydration Friday across the street from AT&T Stadium, where the Giants were playing, told CBS News.
“This woman don’t want to let a little girl sell some water; she be calling police on an 8-year-old little girl,” Austin is heard saying in the clip. “You can hide all you want; the whole world gon’ see ya, boo.”
“Yeah, and illegally selling water without a permit?” Ettel snaps.
“On my property,” Austin replies, to which Ettel says: “It’s not your property!”
On Monday, she sought to pour cold water on reports that her rant was racially motivated — saying she called the cops only to find out if it was legal to sell water without a permit.
But she earlier told Huffington Post that she had “pretended” to call the cops.
“It was continuous,” Ettel told “Today.” “It was like, ‘Two dollars, cold water, two dollars,’ just nonstop for two hours. It just got pretty difficult to deal with.”
She added that she could not actually see the girl out on the sidewalk and that she declined an offer by authorities to send cops to the scene.
“There was no point in having the police come,” Ettel said. “That wasn’t it. I just wanted them to be quiet or move to a corner. They were being disruptive. That was it. It was nothing about selling the water. It was just the disruption.”
Austin called her explanation all wet.
“[Ettel] never asked us to be quiet. She just came out and directly demanded to see a permit to sell water from an 8-year-old,” she said.
“We’ve been out before with my nieces who are full white and she didn’t come out here and they were being way louder than Jordan was by herself,” Austin added.
In the video caption, Austin asked people to make the woman go viral under the hashtag “#permitpatty,” which sparked outrage and continued the debate over policing and racism.
Ettel said she wished she hadn’t brought up the permit issue when confronting Austin because she only wanted Austin and her daughter to quiet down.
“I’m not proud of how I acted,” Ettel told “Today.” “I would have taken a walk. I would have done something, not that. It was all in the heat of the moment, and it was wrong.”