In the aftermath of a judge’s decision to drop all charges against a city police officer involved in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Eddie Irizarry, Instagram personality Dayjia Blackwell, popularly known as “Meatball,” found herself at the center of controversy as she allegedly played a role in inciting and livestreaming looting incidents that unfolded on Tuesday night.
As the city grappled with the fallout of the acquittal, Blackwell took to Instagram, rallying her followers with a call to action: “What we doing tonight behind this injustice tap in?” Reports suggest that the 21-year-old, who boasts an Instagram following nearing 200,000, was a prominent figure in the subsequent looting that unfolded on the streets of Philadelphia.
According to law enforcement sources, Blackwell was present at multiple locations where looting occurred, providing updates and directions on social media. The police, acting on information received, stated that she was livestreaming and indicating which stores and locations to target for looting.
IT’S DEVOLVING: “Everybody must eat! Everybody must eat! Everybody must eat!”
— Jonathan Choe Journalist (Seattle) (@choeshow) September 27, 2023
Authorities revealed that Blackwell was located at a gas station on the 5600 block of Rising Sun Ave. in her red Pontiac. Video footage captured the moment of her arrest, depicting a scene where officers took her into custody without incident. The charges leveled against her include criminal conspiracy, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, riot, use of communication facility, theft (receipt of stolen property), and disorderly conduct.
A total of 52 individuals, including Blackwell, were arrested in connection with the night’s events. Blackwell’s arraignment reportedly took place early Thursday morning, with bail set at $25,000. Reports also suggest that, based on her recent Instagram activity, she has since been released from custody.
Acting Police Commissioner John Stanford emphasized that the looting was unrelated to the peaceful protests for Irizarry, characterizing the perpetrators as “criminal opportunists” seeking to exploit a situation. He condemned the actions as “disgusting” and warned that the city cannot afford such disruptions.
In a bizarre turn of events, Blackwell’s mother took to Instagram on Wednesday, seemingly unaffected by her daughter’s arrest, promoting beanies for sale on Blackwell’s page. “Going to get my kid,” she posted on her Instagram story, followed by, “Beanies for sale $50. Free meatball.”