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Niagara Falls inner city clergy condemn attack on popular minister

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Inner city leaders in Niagara Falls are criticizing a deli owner for posting video of a popular minister being assaulted—but they are even more incensed by what accompanied the incident on the video.

Rev. William Feagin has accused an acquaintance of assaulting him outside Sam's Deli on Highland Avenue, last Friday, which was captured on video by a surveillance camera posted on the outside of the deli.

The owner of the deli, Sam Ahmed posted the video on his Facebook page, and Ahmed can be heard laughing off camera, as he describes the video.

Community leaders are also disturbed by a separate incident, on the same Facebook post, as a man who seems to have no particular faith, mocks and insults Rev. Feagin, while the Reverend--holding true to his beliefs--tries his best to turn the other cheek.

At a news conference, organized by Niagara County Legislator Owen Steed, civic leaders condemned the posting of the video, which Feagin's daughter Patricia Cox criticized as a second attack on her father, "When they assaulted him that day, they broke the law."

Rev. Feagin said he is familiar with his attacker, a man who he has loaned money many times, but never pays him back. "I said I am going to do this for you, this time. I said I don't want it to be like the last time, he said 'I promise you it won't be like the last time', and it came out just like the last time. He did not pay me."

Cox accused the deli owner of having fun at her father's expense, by posting the video on the Internet, and causing pain for her family, "They were making fun of him being assaulted. He is a senior citizen, they showed the world. They put it on Facebook like it was a cartoon."

Ahmed called the exchange between Rev. Feagin and the man mocking him, a debate, "It was by the reverend and this Jamaican fellow who was debating his views. He is not a Muslim or anything, but he was debating his views on the existence of God."

The community leaders are calling for a boycott of Sam's Deli. As Cox put it, the assault and the posting of the video seem to be linked, "To me they are all together because you put it on Facebook, it is not funny when someone assaults a parent, a respected pastor in this community."

Rev. Feagin has identified his attacker and filed charges with Niagara Falls police, but so far the suspected attacker has not been arrested.

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