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A social media influencer who appeared to cheer on looters while livestreaming as they ransacked Philadelphia stores Tuesday night was arrested and charged with six felonies.
Dayjia Blackwell, who goes by “Meatball,” was arrested during her livestream of the looting as large groups of mostly teenagers damaged and robbed multiple stores in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The 21-year-old Blackwell was also hit with two misdemeanors on top of her six felony counts and was seen crying in her mugshot.
Authorities charged Blackwell with burglary, criminal trespassing, conspiracy, criminal mischief, riot with the intent to commit a felony, and criminal use of a communication facility, The New York Post reported. The two misdemeanor accounts were receiving stolen property and hazardous conditions/physically offensive. The social media influencer’s bail was set at $25,000 which she posted Thursday morning.
During her livestream, Blackwell called out the police and challenged them to arrest her.
“Tell the police they’re either gonna lock me up tonight, or it’s gonna get lit, it’s gonna be a movie,” she said, according to the Post.
“This is what happens when we don’t get justice in this city,” Blackwell added.
As dozens of looters robbed a liquor store, Blackwell can be heard shouting repeatedly, “Everybody must eat!”
Philadelphia continues to be in absolute chaos. pic.twitter.com/hgMphlu8c9
— Catch Up (@CatchUpFeed) September 27, 2023
The social media influencer, who has nearly 190,000 followers on Instagram, over 465,000 followers on TikTok, and has an OnlyFans account, was arrested after police allegedly tracked her on social media to seven different locations in the city Tuesday night.
“We were able to link some things on social media,” Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said at a news conference. “We had a group that was making their way through the city. Quite naturally, you have followers who are going to see this and start to come out, and think they have an opportunity to get something.”
The looting in Philadelphia came hours after murder charges against former Philadelphia police officer Mark Dial were dropped. Dial was charged in the fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry, who was holding a knife by his right leg, during a traffic stop last month. Philadelphia Municipal Judge Wendy Pew dismissed all charges, including a murder count, against Dial, determining that the shooting was justified, according to NBC 10.
Stanford attempted to distance the rioting that eventually broke out from the protests that took place earlier in the day, calling the looters “opportunists.”
“This had nothing to do with the protests. What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists,” Stanford said.
“These were not protesters, these were criminals,” he added.
Blackwell wrote in one post to her Instagram followers, “What we doing tonight behind this injustice tap in?”
More video footage of the looting showed a large police presence outside of a Lulumelon as numerous people ran out of the store carrying stolen clothing. The footage also shows police detaining at least four looters on the ground outside of the store. Police said that over 100 juveniles and young adults were involved in the looting.
🚨#BREAKING: Large Crowds of people have started Riot and Loot multiple stores as Citywide Rapid Response has been Activated
Philadelphia Police have activated a citywide rapid response following large crowds of people gathering and rioting, and engaging… pic.twitter.com/ronKIax9rO
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) September 27, 2023