San Antonio police chief visits Sikh Center for community meal

City leaders also invited to 800-member Sikh center in northwest San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Police Chief William McManus visited the Sikh Center of San Antonio Saturday afternoon, but he was there for more than just fellowship and food.

There has been concern by some that Sikhs could be targeted as Muslims because of their turbans.

"We're keeping our ear to the ground," McManus said.

McManus said despite vandalism of a Sikh temple near Los Angeles a few days ago, Alamo City-area Sikhs haven't felt a backlash.

"In San Antonio, everyone's really friendly here and people are usually open to other faiths. So we have not had any issues personally," said community volunteer Prince Pal Singh.

McManus reminded there was a shooting in 2012 at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, where a white supremacist shot 11 people, killing five, including himself.

"We're being vigilant and hoping that does not occur," McManus said.

McManus was one of several city leaders invited to the 800-member Sikh center Saturday in northwest San Antonio for a community meal, breaking stereotypes while breaking bread together.

"It's called a lunger and everybody usually sits on the ground as a sign of equality because Sikhs really believe in equality between all faiths, between all genders, between all races," McManus said.

McManus said he's not aware of any threats to the Sikh community in San Antonio.

A police spokesman told KSAT 12 that Saturday's appearance by the chief at the Sikh temple is part of the chief's efforts to get out and talk to everyone so that people know the San Antonio Police Department cares.