It turns out there is a connection between the really-truly-peaceful protests in Philadelphia and the mass-looting events in an entirely different part of the town.
It’s complicated — but also worrying.
Interim Philly Police Chief John Stanford says the lootings were carried out by “opportunists” who simply took advantage of the anger and protest march over the ruling. He’s right.
That said, at least one looter is on record contradicting the chief.
“This is what happens when we don’t get justice in this city,” announced Instagram and TikTok influencer Dayjia Blackwell, a k a Meatball, in one of her posts as she joined in the “Free iPhones!” fun.
Yes, she’s an absolute meathead: She and some of her heroes got nabbed by police because of her cheering livestream, as they used her Instagram Stories feed to track down the goons’ exact position amid the chaos.
Now her video and photos — depicting the mass plunder of an Apple store, a Foot Locker, a Lululemon and a liquor store (of course) — can be evidence.
But back to “when we don’t get justice”: She plainly meant a judge’s decision to dismiss all charges, including murder and manslaughter, against police officer Mark Dial, who fatally shot a Hispanic man during an August traffic stop — which is what the actual protests were about.
That is, Meatball (and some of her peers, at least) have decided that looting is protest, or at least that an apparent injustice is a license to loot.
Where would they get that idea? Probably from all the progressive pundits and politicians who’ve been arguing just that these last few years — since at least the rioting, vast vandalism and looting that followed the George Floyd killing in 2020.
The 2020 book “In Defense of Looting” won praise across thumb-sucking liberal media.
More recently, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed that shoplifters are simply looking to feed their families and blamed crime surges on the end of the child-tax credit.
Meatball now stands charged with six felonies and two misdemeanors.
Sadly, the “thought leaders” who encouraged her idiocy will only continue to prosper.