Kids selling lemonade from a stand in the summer is a right of passage. But sadly, times have changed, and with those changes, comes a 5-year-old London girl being fined $200 because of her stand. Four city council enforcement officers approached the stand and proceeded to inform the young girl that she had broken the law.
The girl’s father, Andre Spicer, discovered the situation after she came in to the house with tears rolling down her face saying, “I’ve done a bad thing.” The girl, who could not be named because of her age, was selling lemonade for 66 cents at the end of the block.
The young girl was getting steady foot traffic, according to Andre. “She just wanted to put a smile on people’s faces,” Spicer told the BBC. “She was really proud of herself.”
Putting smiles on the faces of community members was quickly over after officers informed her she had violated Tower Hamlets Council rules on market stalls, according to the Washington Post.
The officers claimed that she needed to have a street license to run her operation. Andre was understandably stunned.
“I was quite shocked,” Spicer told NBC News. “We were then issued a fine of 150 pounds. We packed up and walked home.” In an effort to calm his daughter’s diminished spirit, he put on her favorite movie — Brave.
Andre and his wife then walked down the road to their daughter’s lemonade stand and began taking it down. “I said maybe we can apply for the right permit and do it again at some stage. And she said, ‘That’s a bit scary.’”
The local authorities caught wind of the situation and have since canceled the fine and publicly apologized. “We are very sorry that this has happened,” a spokesman for the department said. “We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen.
“The fine will be canceled immediately and we have contacted Professor Spicer and his daughter to apologize,” he added.
This is not the first time officers have come to shut down a little girl’s lemonade stand. In 2015, two Texas sisters had officers come to their stand and shut their impromptu business down for lack of permits.
The incident has garnered national news attention and has many wondering what went through the officers’ heads as they were approaching the child.