East Side peace concert connects community, first responders

Inaugural event seeks to build rapport

SAN ANTONIO – The inaugural District 2 Peace Concert presented the opportunity for the community, police officers and firefighters to come together and focus on peace through music.

The free event was Saturday at Pittman-Sullivan Park. It was inspired by the events that transpired in Ferguson, Missouri, between the community and its police force.

"When the police aren't familiar with the people that they are serving, it's easy to be afraid and when you have that fear it leads to sometimes violence, either on the side of the police or on the side of civilians," said community member Dee Smith.

Councilman Keith Toney said he hopes the event will help build a rapport between those who live on the East Side and the men and women who help keep it safe.

"Especially for some of our youngsters to see that if a police officer stops and asks you a question, they probably have a very good reason for doing it and likewise we want the police officer to know that just because you see one of our young men walking and perhaps he's walking in the latest style, his clothing is sagging, doesn't mean he's a thug," Toney said.

Smith, who is heavily involved in community service the area, said the event helped to highlight the East Side community.

"Most of the time (when) you hear something on the news it's something negative. So this is something positive to bring the people together and I'm all for it and hopefully they do it on a regular basis," Smith said.