Senior New York judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam found dead in Hudson River
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, America’s first-ever Muslim woman judge and the first African-American female to serve on New York’s highest court, has been found dead in NY, police say.
After the judge was reported missing, the New York City police harbor unit responding to a 911 call retrieved her clothed body from the Hudson on Wednesday.
Police recovered her body at approximately 1:45 in the afternoon on Wednesday.
Born Sheila Turner, in Washington, D.C., to poor working class parents in a family of nine, Abdus-Salaam took her last name, which she answered to for much of her professional career, from her first husband.
“There are no apparent injuries to her body”, he said.
“The MBBA knew Judge Abdus-Salaam not only as a jurist, but also as a stellar public interest lawyer committed to achieving justice through her work with East Brooklyn Legal Services Corp., the City Law Department and the NYC Office of Labor Services”, said Paula Edgar, on behalf of the MBBA. She was found dead in the Hudson River in NY, not far from her Harlem home, on Wednesday afternoon.
Abdus-Salaam had been an associate justice on the New York Court of Appeals since 2013.
Cuomo released a statement calling her a “pioneer” and a “force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come”.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first female Muslim judge in the US, was found dead in NY on Wednesday afternoon.
“Judge Abdus-Salaam saw clearly how damaging it was to keep LGBT parents from their children”, Lambda Legal director of constitutional litigation Susan Sommer wrote on the website: “We owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude”.
And while there were no signs of foul play, authorities say they have launched an investigation in to unraveling the circumstances surrounding her death. She studied law at Columbia University, where she and former United States Attorney General Eric Holder were contemporaries. The went on to become a judge on an intermediate appeals court before she joined the state’s top court in 2013.
Seymour W. James Jr., attorney in chief at the Legal Aid Society, said in a statement that the judge’s passing had left many heartbroken.