PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTXF) - With Philadelphia on an all-time high right now, one group wants to keep the peace. They have a mission to bring the city together once and for all.
Earlier this year Davida Gardner got information that would change her life forever.
“June 5th of 2017, I got a call from my mother and she was telling me that my cousin had been killed.”
Over three hundred people were murdered in Philadelphia in 2017, nearly one person per day. It happens so often that its almost emotionless as people are desensitized. But the reality is that these people had friends, they had family and Davida says they had value.
“Someone broke into my grandmother’s house and shot him fourteen times. When she went downstairs she saw my cousin laying on his back on her living room floor,” Davida said.
Daymond garner was one of those people. February 9th would’ve been his 30th birthday but he was gunned down this past summer during a robbery at his grandmother’s house. Admittedly I didn’t know him but looking at his social media and speaking to his family doesn’t exactly present a troubled young man and Davida says that he wasn’t one.
“He wasn’t a person that got into the streets, he wasn’t into anything, he had sickle cell so he was pretty sick most of the time,” Davida explains.
Davida and her cousin were very close, he was often the babysitter for her kids so with his murder remaining unsolved 8 months later, Davida was frankly tired of waiting for justice and instead decided she needed to be part of pushing for peace.
“Erase The Rate came about because the community needs to do something, we have to start policing ourselves,” Davida said.
She started Erase the Rate to promote peace, focused on minority communities. They’ve been helping in various ways for months now but as a die-hard eagles fan she saw something in how the city came together.
“Philadelphia the community is really strong. The Philadelphia Eagles, they won and Philadelphia came out the whole city, it was amazing. For us to come out for a sports team, we can come out for the community as well.
So Saturday February 10 she planned a peace march to not only draw attention to unsolved murders and allow families a chance to publicly grieve but also to see how we can all take the energy our city is currently experiencing and keep it going.
“There’s a lot of anti-violence groups that nobody knows about, I feel as though we just needed one big event to bring everyone together to let them know you have support here, you have support here.”
Davida and others are grieving their lost loved ones everyday but she hopes that all of us who understand and want a peaceful city will join her quest to Erase The Murder rate…For Goodness' Sake.
For more information on Erase the Rate, click here.