CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Police Department honored a cadet who lost her life to gun violence – the youth services unit dedicated a room to Aurora McCarter, who was killed last year, hoping it will spark positive change in the community.
“She made everybody smile. She was just like a great cadet. You would have been very great to meet her,” police cadet Ka-Lija Todd said. “It would have been very great, like she was extremely sweet, and I feel like everybody should get to know her even though she’s not on this Earth with us anymore.”
The walls of the Aurora McCarter teen room are a canvas – the plan is to decorate the walls with art in her memory.
“I think it’s going to be a special place and a safe place that young people can come and spend time,” Cincinnati Police chief Eliot Isaac said.
The goal is to prevent what happened to McCarter from happening to anyone else – to put an end to youth violence.
“It takes everyone to solve this problem, we all need to be a part of the solution,” Isaac said.
Groups from across the Tri-State have stepped up to play their part. Q-KIDZ Dance Team is putting their emotion into art and their “Stop the Violence” musical.
“I hope it is life-changing for someone, you know. I hope it gives them the message to put the noise down,” Q-KIDZ Dance Team founder and director Marquicia Jones-Woods said. “I hope it gives the message of love that we need more love.”
The Q-KIDZ will perform “Stop the Violence” at Smale Park Aug. 13 and at Washington Park on Aug. 15.
“Dance is an outlet for my kids,” Jones-Woods said. “Dance is the opportunity for them to come and release whatever is going on with their day-to-day life. They can come in here and they can leave it on the dance floor.”
“To see, you know, other organizations willing to engage with our young people – I think that’s going to make a difference,” Isaac said. “We’ll see, you know, our city turn the corner.”