After a contentious livestream during the recent looting in Philadelphia, Dayjia Blackwell, better known online as “Meatball,” found herself at the center of attention, highlighting the strength and influence of social media once again. She has more than 200,000 social media followers, and her activities amid the pandemonium sparked criticism and legal repercussions.
The incident: On September 26, when crowds gathered in Center City, Philadelphia, looting broke out, focusing on liquor stores, Apple, Footlocker, and Lululemon. Dayjia Blackwell added fuel to the fire, according to the police, by livestreaming herself smiling throughout the looting amid the commotion. The scenario worsened since a large number of people watched the video.
Legal Repercussions: Blackwell was charged with six crimes, including burglary, conspiracy, riot, and criminal use of a communication facility, in addition to two misdemeanors, after being arrested as a result of her conduct. She was shown crying in a mugshot that went viral after the arrest.
Meatball Speaks Out: Dayjia Blackwell shared her viewpoint on her Instagram account following the event and her subsequent arrest. She professed her innocence and thanked everyone for their support, saying, “I ain’t done anything like this in my life.” Blackwell also opened up about her feelings, expressing anguish and dread and pledging never to suffer anything like that again.
Claims Against the Police: Blackwell attacked the police in a subsequent post, alleging that they had been mistreated. In asserting, “this is what these people do to us black people,” she exposed a pervasive fear of racial bias in the legal system. Her post emphasized her resolve to live a better life and avoid going to jail while highlighting the emotional toll that the arrest had on her.
In the aftermath, Apple remotely disabled the pilfered gadgets, making them worthless, in response to the rampant looting that led to 52 arrests. Blackwell, who is currently being sued, is scheduled to appear in court the following month.
Conclusion: Dayjia Blackwell’s activities have once again drawn attention to the nexus of social media, crime, and social justice problems. The incident calls into question social media’s influence on public behavior during times of crisis as well as the accountability of influencers. Blackwell’s consequences are a sobering reminder of the ramifications of activities taken online that have real-world repercussions as the court proceedings progress.