Social Media Influencer, Dayjia Blackwell, Arrested amid Philadelphia Looting Spree

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Social media influencer, Dayjia Blackwell, is among the 52 individuals apprehended this week due to alleged involvement in rampant looting that unfolded in Philadelphia for the second consecutive night on Wednesday. Her arrest springs from a wave of illicit activity in the city following peaceful protests against a judge’s ruling to dismiss all charges against a former Philadelphia police officer implicated in a fatal traffic stop shooting.

“Blackwell is livestreaming as she’s carrying out burglaries, and rallying others to do the same,” Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford reported. The 21-year-old online personality is now facing an array of charges including criminal conspiracy, burglary, and criminal trespass. She was granted bail on Wednesday, with an upcoming court appearance slated for October 17.

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Blackwell declined to comment about the situation when approached by media outlets on Thursday morning.

The backdrop to this recent spate of looting came in the wake of peaceful protests that occurred as a response to the judge’s decision to dismiss all charges against the ex-Philadelphia police officer, Mark Dial, involved in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old, Eddie Irizarry on August 14. Commissioner Stanford maintains his belief that the looters were “opportunists,” who were not conscientiously connected to the original protest.

The spree of looting played out for two nights, ignoring the citywide closure of all liquor stores on Wednesday. Around 14 people were arrested across the city, with most liquor stores anticipated to renew operations on Thursday.

Despite the city authority’s sincere efforts to curb these criminal acts, seven businesses fell prey to burglaries occurring between Wednesday and Thursday. Businesses affected include a Walgreens pharmacy, a sports outlet, multiple dollar stores, a smoke shop, and a wine shop where two individuals were apprehended for alleged looting.

For the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, the objective is to reopen most liquor stores on Thursday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. However, it is understood that securing and repairing damages inflicted by the looting could take days, if not weeks, for some of the stores impacted by these events. As a result, at least nine liquor stores will remain non-operational until further notice.