An influencer who livestreamed herself laughing as crowds looted stores in Philadelphia has been charged with 6 felonies

A blurry screenshot of police cars on a street at night.
A screenshot shows police at the scene of the looting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.FOX 29 Philadelphia
  • An influencer used Instagram to livestream people looting stores in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

  • In the livestream, she could be seen laughing, cheering, and shouting, "Free iPhones!"

  • The influencer, known online as "Meatball," was arrested mid-livestream and charged with six felonies.

An influencer who filmed herself laughing and cheering as people looted stores in Philadelphia on Tuesday night has been arrested and charged with six felonies.

Dayjia Blackwell, who is known as "Meatball" online, was among the people who congregated near stores in Philadelphia's city center on Tuesday night, where crowds were spotted leaving the Apple Store with stolen iPhones and iPads, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

People also looted the nearby Foot Locker, Lululemon, and liquor stores, the newspaper said.

Blackwell was one of 52 people that John Stanford, the interim Philadelphia police commissioner, said had been arrested in an X post.

Speaking to 6ABC Philadelphia, Stanford said: "She is livestreaming as she is committing burglaries and encouraging others to commit burglaries."

Police said she led a "caravan of looters from store to store," 6ABC reported.

Stanford said at a press conference that officers were already downtown due to a protest against the decision to drop all charges against a former Philadelphia police officer who was arrested in the fatal shooting last month of Eddie Irizarry during a traffic stop.

After the protest disbanded, a group of young people congregated in the city center, with some starting to loot stores in the area, he said.

Stanford said the thieves were "criminal opportunists" who piggybacked on the anger surrounding the case.

Blackwell, who has more than 189,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 500,000 followers on TikTok, livestreamed on Instagram as people looted the stores.

The New York Post reported that she shouted "Free iPhones" repeatedly in one part of the video. At other points, she laughed or cheered on the crowds.

In another part of the livestream, which was shared on social media, Blackwell said: "Tell the police they either lock me up tonight or it's going to get lit — it's going to be a movie."

She was arrested mid-livestream. Her mugshot appears to show her with tears on her cheeks.

Blackwell was charged with six felonies and two misdemeanors, including burglary, conspiracy, riot, and criminal use of a communication facility, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In a series of Instagram Live stories on Thursday morning, Blackwell said: "I never been through nothing like that ever in my life. I don't even know what happened. I need some sleep. I'm scared, I'm traumatized."

In response to a request for comment from Insider, Blackwell simply responded: "This me I'm home hey."

Read the original article on Insider