The grandmother of Philly “looter” Meatball has spoken out, saying she is “ashamed” of the 21-year-old influencer’s actions following her arrest last week.
Dayjia Blackwell, also known as Meatball, was released on bail Thursday evening after she and dozens of others were arrested in the looting in Philly last week.
She will appear in court soon, but first she had to face her disappointed grandmother who helped raise her.
‘What goes through my mind as a grandmother is that I am very ashamed. I feel very ashamed to see my child there at that moment. First of all, she could have been hurt,” Blackwell’s grandmother Vashti Fields said FOX 29.
Her attorney, Jessica Mann, has gone on to say that critics of her client are “racist,” adding, “It sickens me to witness the media’s complicity in what can only be described as an all-out attack on black people.” and brown people, as their character and actions are mercilessly vilified.”
Meatball’s profile photo on Instagram is her sad mugshot with “QUEEN OF PHILLY” in her bio
Blackwell was eventually found by police in her friend’s car after they found her videos of the looting on social media. She tried to talk her way out of the arrest, saying, “We have nothing to do with this!”
Blackwell was charged with burglary, conspiracy, criminal trespass, riot, criminal mischief, criminal use of communications facilities, receiving stolen property and disorderly conduct following the widespread looting on Monday night.
Last week, about 100 youths went from store to store in Philadelphia and looted them. An Apple Store, Lululemon and Foot Locker were all targeted, along with multiple liquor stores.
In the heat of the riot, Blackwell turned to her 181,000 Instagram followers and filmed a crowd as they looted all the name brand stores, before moving on to a liquor store where she herself bragged about grabbing a bottle of Hennessy.
In her video she said: ‘Tell the police if they lock me up tonight, it’s going to be lit, it’s going to be a movie! Everyone has to eat!’
That same night, police were able to locate her in her friend’s car around midnight. Authorities also gave Meatball another nickname: “Livestream Looter.”
Blackwell was still livestreaming as she tried to talk her way out of the arrest, saying, “We had nothing to do with this!” as she clearly forgot about the hours of footage she so sharply and brazenly put together. shared.
Since that night, Blackwell has used her online presence to raise support and money for her.
Fresh out of prison, Blackwell documented her trip to Atlantic City this weekend while promoting her new mugshot merchandise and her other brand ‘Ain’t Nuffin’
In the heat of the riot, Blackwell turned to her 181,000 Instagram followers and filmed a crowd looting all the name brand stores, before heading to a liquor store where she herself bragged about grabbing a bottle of Hennessy.
Her profile picture on Instagram is her sad mugshot with ‘QUEEN OF PHILLY’ in her bio.
She also used her entrepreneurial skills to cash in on her arrest, when she started selling hoodies with her mugshot on them just days after being released from jail.
Meatball has stopped at nothing to promote her new merchandise and her other clothing line called ‘Ain’t Nuffin’, as she posted in Atlantic City on Saturday night to share her original clothing.
Just before sharing her new clothing products, she begged her more than 200,000 followers for cash donations, earning mixed reviews as she flaunted her lawlessness.
Blackwell posed with a gun in a September 20, 2023 Instagram photo
“Wait, you stole from others, but you want people to pay for your stuff?” said one commenter.
‘Another branded her a ‘laughing stock’ and added that she ‘messed around and caught crimes’.
But all her grandmother wants from her is to use her voice positively online because she believes Meatball is not guilty of all her charges.
“When I see someone of my blood, who was there when this happened, and he says he’s an influencer, it hurts me deeply,” Fields said.
While some have seen the funny side of Blackwell flaunting her freedom online, critics have pointed out that she may be so aggressively raising money to help pay her legal fees.
At least 52 arrests have been made so far in connection with last week’s looting, and at least 30 people have been charged with multiple charges, including burglary and theft.
Liquor stores were also a big target amid all this, as 18 state-run liquor stores were broken into, prompting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to close all 48 retail locations in Philadelphia and one in the suburb of Cheltenham on Wednesday.
More footage on social media showed officers attempting to physically remove the thieves, some of whom wore Halloween masks, as they plundered the shelves.
Several firearms were also seized during the violent looting scene after it was suspected that the planning for the incident took place on social media.
“We were able to connect some things together on social media,” said interim Police Commissioner John Stanford.
This photo shows groups of people running toward the Lululemon store during the first night of looting on Monday
In addition to Philadelphia looters who attacked name brand stores, they also raided Fine Wine and Good Spirits liquor stores
“We had a group that worked its way through the city. Of course you’re going to have followers who are going to see this and come out and think they have a chance to get something.”
After Blackwell’s arrest on the streets of Philadelphia, her bail was set at $25,000, according to court documents. She is expected back in court on October 17.
The 21-year-old has also been advised by her lawyer not to conduct interviews.
Even though her grandmother knows Blackwell made a mistake, she still wants everyone to know she is a “loving, kind, caring, business go-getter.” But in the same vein, she wants Meatball to publicly apologize in a letter to the city and use her voice positively.
“I want her to start a business and most importantly, I want her to be a positive influencer,” Fields said.