Dayjia Blackwell, the social media influencer known as “Meatball,” has found herself in hot water after livestreaming a chaotic and destructive night of looting in the City of Brotherly Love. While her followers might have tuned in for some reckless entertainment, the consequences for “Meatball” have been far from glamorous. She now faces a daunting lineup of six felony charges that could change her life forever.
The night of mayhem unfolded as looters descended upon several businesses, including Apple, Foot Locker, and Lululemon, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. “Meatball” captured the chaos firsthand and shared it with her followers, but little did she know that her actions would soon lead to a series of serious charges.
In videos posted to her Instagram Stories, Blackwell can be seen laughing and even cheering on the other looters as they ransacked stores and disrupted the peace of the city. Her actions escalated when she openly challenged the police to arrest her, stating, “Tell the police they’re either gonna lock me up tonight, or it’s gonna get lit, it’s gonna be a movie.” It was a brazen move that would soon come back to haunt her.
Perhaps the most alarming part of her livestream was her enthusiasm as looters plundered the Apple store, making off with iPhones and tablets. “Free iPhones! Free iPhones,” Blackwell exclaimed, inciting a frenzy among the looters. It was a display of reckless abandon that stunned many who watched the footage.
Law enforcement wasted no time in using social media posts, including those of “Meatball,” to pinpoint the precise locations of alleged looters amidst the chaos. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that these posts served as crucial evidence in identifying those involved.
The consequences for Blackwell came swiftly. On Wednesday, she was hit with a total of eight separate charges, including six felonies directly tied to her involvement in the looting. Court documents obtained by The Post reveal that her charges include burglary, criminal trespassing, conspiracy, criminal mischief, riot with the intent to commit a felony, and criminal use of a communication facility. In addition to these felonies, she was slapped with two misdemeanors: receiving stolen property and hazardous conditions/physically offensive.
Her bail was set at $25,000, a substantial sum she managed to post early Thursday, according to the documents. However, her legal troubles are far from over, as the weight of the charges against her loom large.
The night of chaos and looting in Philadelphia’s City Center neighborhood and surrounding areas prompted an increased police presence in the city on Wednesday night. But even with heightened security, some individuals continued to wreak havoc. Stores, including a liquor store, were targeted, and even a Wells Fargo drive-up ATM was stolen, according to footage captured by NBC Philadelphia.
In total, at least 52 individuals have been arrested over the past two days for their involvement in the looting. Interim Chief of Police John Stanford pointed out that the lootings were carried out by “opportunists” who took advantage of the anger stemming from the decision in the Eddie Irizarry case.
The protest earlier in the day had drawn thousands of people to the streets, protesting Municipal Judge Wendy Pew’s decision to dismiss all charges against police officer Mark Dial, who had fatally shot Irizarry during an August traffic stop. The protest eventually ended around 7:30 PM, just before the city descended into chaos as an unruly mob overpowered security and police officers, leading to widespread looting.
While some may attempt to portray this incident as an expression of frustration, the fact remains that the law must be upheld, and individuals who engage in criminal activity must be held accountable for their actions. “Meatball’s” decision to broadcast her involvement in the looting may have garnered attention, but it has also led to serious consequences that will undoubtedly shape her future.