Lawyer for Philly ‘looter’ slams assault on her client as racist

Lawyer for Philly ‘looter’ Meatball slams ‘all-out assault’ on ‘vibrant’ 21-year-old as racist – and says she livestreamed crime-spree merely to capture ‘raw reality of public outrage’

  • Jessica Mann, Blackwell’s lawyer, defended her client and said to livestream the looting was ‘nothing more than capturing the raw reality of public outrage’ 
  • Dayjia Blackwell, a 21-year-old influencer known as ‘Meatball’, livestreamed a recent flash mob robbery in Philadelphia 
  • Blackwell begged her fans for cash after she was released on $25,000 bail 

A Philadelphia influencer, who livestreamed a looting spree in the city, has had her legal representation slam the ‘all out assault’ on her as racist.

Dayjia Blackwell, a 21-year-old influencer known as ‘Meatball’, livestreamed looters in the recent flash mob robbery in Philadelphia and asked her 181,000 Instagram followers to join her as she ran through the street. 

Jessica Mann, Blackwell’s lawyer, wrote on social media Friday: ‘It sickens me to witness the media’s complicity in what can only be described as an all-out assault on black and brown people, as their character and actions are mercilessly vilified.’

Mann defending the decision to livestream the lootings as ‘nothing more than capturing the raw reality of public outrage.’

After Blackwell was released on $25,000 bail Thursday, she brazenly begged her fans to pay for a lawyer and urged people to buy clothing and hats from her brand. 

She hired Mann, who also criticized the media for posting her mugshot ‘with tears streaming down her face and her hair a mess.’

Blackwell, meanwhile, has uploaded her mugshot as her profile picture on social media and hinted she may print merchandise featuring the mugshot.

Dayjia Blackwell, 21, who livestreamed a mob-style looting spree in Philadelphia and encouraged others to join in, appeared distraught as police took her mug shot

Blackwell thanked her followers for their love and support

Meatball shared stories of her time inside jail and said she never wants to go back

Jessica Mann, Blackwell's lawyer, defended her client and said the decision to livestream 'nothing more than capturing the raw reality of public outrage'

Mann, Blackwell's lawyer, wrote on social media Friday: 'It sickens me to witness the media's complicity in what can only be described as an all-out assault on black and brown people.'

In her open letter to the media, Mann also brought up the dismissal of charges against a fired police officer Mark Dial who shot Eddie Irizarry to death and ‘the gross dereliction of duty by the Philadelphia District Attorney’. 

The lawyer said Blackwell’s decision to livestream was to ‘bravely expose the deep-seated issues that plague society,’ but the police and local media failed to engage in what could have been a ‘meaningful dialogue’ about the causes of the unrest. 

Mann called the looters ‘individuals driven by pain and anguish’ and said the robbery ‘is not about sneakers or alcohol.’

‘It is about the systemic oppression that has plagued our communities for generations… and the corrosive effects of unchecked police brutality and a justice system that favors the powerful over the voiceless,’ the lawyer added. 

At the end of the letter, Mann called the city of Philadelphia to ‘take responsibility for creating a system’ that allows police brutality. 

‘When officers can murder with impunity, when communities are left to suffer without resources, it is no wonder that people feel compelled to take matters into their own hands,’ she wrote. 

While some supported the sentiment, others pointed out that the charges were brought against her for participating in a crime spree, among which dozens were arrested.

‘If she had stayed home, minded her business and not incite folks, she would not be in the situation she is in and have charges pending against her,’ one of Mann’s followers said.

‘No matter how much y’all try to defend her, she need to face the consequences of her actions and how her actions impacted communities and people trying to just make ends meet.’

One person claimed that even Meatball’s grandma disapproved. 

‘Even her grandma said that what she did was wrongfully. and you playing the ‘legal’ black card,’ one user said.

‘I’m an attorney as well and a former public defender and I’m ashamed of you.

‘A lawyer must defend the client’s RIGHT but under no circumstances should the illicit act committed.’

One person can be seen grabbing an iPhone from its display

Numerous people stormed the store, one of the locations Meatball was at

Blackwell faces charges for burglary, conspiracy, criminal trespassing, rioting, criminal mischief, criminal use of communication facility, receipt of stolen property and disorderly conduct.

The ‘looter’ posted bail Thursday morning and told her 196,000 followers that: ‘All I want to do is go treat myself’ and plugged her Cash App handle for her followers. 

One other post on her Instagram also said: ‘If you don’t got $150 for promo bye, I need a lawyer at the end of the day.’

In a separate post, she sad: ‘Thanks I love everybody. I will never get locked up again, what was that I was in omg. That scared me. 

‘I’ve 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, never again in my live, like seriously,’ said Blackwell. 

The social media personality told her Instagram followers to join her as she ran through the street and drove to several locations hit by thieves Tuesday night.

She filmed a mob as they looted Apple, Lululemon and Footlocker, before moving on to a liquor store where she herself boasted about grabbing a bottle of Hennessy.

‘Tell the police if they lock me up tonight it’s going to be lit, it’s going to be a movie! Everybody’s gotta eat!’ she said to the camera.

A large number of people can be seen running towards the Lululemon store in this picture during the spree

Fine Wine And Good Spirits got smashed apart during the second night if looting

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Blackwell when she was finally nabbed by cops while in her friend’s car just after midnight.

Still filming herself and the night’s events on an Instagram live stream, she tried to talk her way out of it.

‘We didn’t have anything to do with this!’ she protested, clearly forgetting about the hours of footage she’d so keenly put together and brazenly shared.

Blackwell joined dozens who face criminal charges after the social media-fueled mayhem, in which groups apparently working together, smashed their way into stores and stuffed bags with merchandise before fleeing, authorities said.

At least 52 arrests have been made so far with burglary, theft and other counts filed against at least 30 people as of Saturday.

According to Jane Roh, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, all but three of those arrested were adults.

The flash mob-style ransacking Tuesday night targeted dozens of stores including Foot Locker, Lululemon and Apple.

A day after, at least 18 state-run liquor stores were broken into, leading the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to close all 48 of its Philadelphia retail locations and one in suburban Cheltenham on Wednesday. 

Latest figures, which are up until last Sunday, show how there has been 302 homicides in the city so far this year.

There have also been 402 reported rapes, 58,759 cases of property crime, 3,701 cases of aggravated assaults and 1,314 shooting victims.

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