A social media influencer who goes by the name “Meatball” was arrested while livestreaming herself joining a massive group of people looting stores in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Large groups of mostly teenagers vandalized and robbed multiple stores in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, including an Apple store — which ended up being a problem for the looters, as the devices announced that they had tracking software in them, prompting the looters to destroy the stolen merchandise in fear of being caught.
However, one looter did not appear to care about getting herself and those around her caught by police — Dayjia Blackwell, who was arrested during her livestream while she cheered on other looters and joined them in stealing from businesses. She has been charged with six felonies — which include burglary, criminal trespassing, conspiracy, criminal mischief, riot with intent to commit a felony and criminal use of a communication facility. Blackwell was also charged with two misdemeanors — receiving stolen property and hazardous conditions/physically offensive.
The 21-year-old social media influencer was seen crying in her mugshot, while her bail was set at $25,000.
During Blackwell’s livestream, she could be heard challenging the police 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 New York Post.
“This is what happens when we don’t get justice in this city,” Blackwell added.
While she continued to livestream dozens of looters robbing a liquor store, Blackwell is heard repeatedly shouting: “Everybody must eat!”
Philadelphia continues to be in absolute chaos. pic.twitter.com/hgMphlu8c9
— Catch Up (@CatchUpFeed) September 27, 2023
Her decision came back to haunt her in the end, as police were able to track her via her social media to seven different locations on Tuesday night — giving them the evidence necessary to arrest her.
“We were able to link some things on social media,” Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said during a press 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 looters took advantage of the chaotic protests being held in Philadelphia over a judge dismissing murder charges against former police officer Mark Dial — who was charged in the fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry, who was shot while holding a knife by his right leg during a traffic stop last month.
Stanford tried to distance the riots and looting from the protests during the press conference, referring to the looters as “opportunists.”
“This had nothing to do with the protests. What we had tonight was a bunch of criminal opportunists,” the interim police commissioner said, adding: “These were not protesters, these were criminals.”
Blackwell appeared to admit that her decision to join the looting was an opportunistic move to take advantage of the protests, writing on Instagram earlier in the day: “What we doing tonight behind this injustice tap in?”