'Stop the Violence' rally planned in York City


Two decades ago, Olga Davis thought York City was the best place around to raise kids.

"There were plenty of things for kids to do," she said.

But on Saturday she's burying her cousin Erik Miranda, who was shot to death Sunday morning, and she wants to move.

"I can't deal with this anymore," said Davis, who moved to the city from Puerto Rico when she was 9 and has lived there ever since.

She and others described Miranda, 24, as a good guy who worked two jobs and was an active member of his church — a young man who was senselessly gunned down in the recent spate of violence in York City.

The story of Miranda, the third York City homicide victim of the past four weeks, really hit home with Jarrett Myers — so much that he decided to do something about it.

"It really kind of made me sick to my stomach," he said.

Myers, of North York, and John Beck, of York City, have organized a rally against violence in the city, which they say has been on the rise of late.

The event, called the "Stop the Violence" rally, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9,in Continental Square, the intersection of Market and George streets that's considered the city's center.

Rally: The Facebook event for the rally encourages people to bring signs and organize peacefully on the sidewalks of the square at that time. Then the plan is to head out to "neighborhoods that need to know we care."

Myers said he's not quite sure yet where they'll go, but he cited the Parkway, southside and west end areas as those that see the most violence. He noted that the 200 block of Jefferson Avenue, where Miranda was shot to death shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday, is walking distance from downtown — maybe they'll head over there.

Davis was glad to hear about the rally.

"I'll be there," she said without a moment's hesitation.

She feels the violence now is at its worst in the time she's lived here.

"Over the last five years, it's been horrific," she said.

Myers, 35, grew up in the city and has worked as a cab driver around town. He said he'd hear gunshots all the time while driving around York City.

"It's the youth who's doing this to other youth," said the father of five kids between the ages of 6 months and 10 years.

He hopes the rally gets a good turnout, but even if it's just the two organizers, he said, he thinks it could be helpful.

Myers said the goals of the rally are to get people thinking about possible solutions to the violence and to try to convey to the young people who are doing most of the shooting that there's a better way to go through life.

"Maybe the kids will (see this and) think there's more to life than that," he said.

— Reach Sean Cotter at scotter@yorkdispatch.com.