Woman accused of encouraging Philadelphia looting live on social media among 52 arrested

Stores around Philadelphia, PA ransacked Tuesday night

By6abc Digital Staff, Corey Davis, Katherine Scott, Christie Ileto WPVI logo
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Extra police blanket Philadelphia after looters wreak havoc on city
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Extra police officers blanket Philadelphia after looters wreak havoc on city

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia police have arrested a woman accused of encouraging looters while live on social media Tuesday night.

Dayjia Blackwell, 21, allegedly used her social media platform to encourage people to engage in looting at several locations, and is alleged to have engaged in criminal activities herself, according to the district attorney's office.

She is charged with burglary, conspiracy, criminal trespass, riot, criminal mischief, criminal use of communication facility, receipt of stolen property and disorderly conduct.

Blackwell has since posted bail and is due back in court next month.

She was arrested after being observed by officers at a gas station.

Blackwell was one of 52 people taken into custody by police on Tuesday. Three juveniles were also apprehended.

Demonstrators gathered in Center City Philadelphia to protest a judge's decision Tuesday to dismiss all charges against a former police officer in the fatal shooting of Eddie Irizarry.

The group marched peacefully from City Hall to the Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday evening. Bicycle cops and patrol vehicles kept a close eye on the rally.

But by nightfall, police said a different group made up of teens and young adults started looting in the city.

The chaos started around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday after numerous 911 calls stated a large group, possibly as many as 100, was moving through Center City Philadelphia.

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.

SEE ALSO: 52 people arrested after looters target stores across Philadelphia

All Philadelphia liquor stores closed following night of looting

Other stores in and around the city were ransacked, including Lululemon, Foot Locker and an Apple store.

Video on social media showed masked people in hoodies running out of Lululemon with merchandise and police officers grabbing several and tackling them to the sidewalk. Photos of a sporting goods store at a mall showed mannequins and sneakers scattered on the sidewalk.

The thefts and unrest stretched from downtown to northeast and west Philadelphia, leaving smashed display windows and broken storefront coverings. Police said seven cars were stolen from a lot in the northeast. Three of the cars had been recovered as of Wednesday afternoon.

Six businesses in a single retail corridor of North Philadelphia were looted, including three pharmacies, a hair salon, a tax preparation company and a cellphone store, according to the North 22nd Street Business Corridor, a business group.

No injuries were reported Tuesday night.

Police said they are extending shifts for officers to make sure they are prepared for any issues through the weekend.

Shown is the aftermath of ransacked liquor store in Philadelphia.
Shown is the aftermath of ransacked liquor store in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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