Police say NY judge's death is 'suspicious'

Posted April 20, 2017

Law enforcement has recovered video surveillance footage of a NY state judge walking alone near the Hudson River, about 12 hours before her body was found in the water, the NYPD said. "Anyone with info is asked to call our detectives".

NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis told the New York Post that police haven't made any determinations on exactly what happened, but they continue to investigate.

She was wearing the same clothes as when her body was found near W. 131 St. the following day. She was serving on the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York State, before her death. "We pointed to her as a beacon, an example, a paragon of what is right in our neighborhood", he said.

Not only was Abdus-Salaam the first Black woman to serve in this prestigious position, but she also paved the way for others to follow.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam was the first African-American arbitrator whose body was discovered by the police in NY.

Authorities were initially looking into possible suicide, but have now posted fliers asking for information in her death. Police told the station that although her death is being considered suspicious, there are no signs of criminality.

Abdus-Salaam served as an associate judge on the New York Court of Appeals, and she was the first Black woman to be appointed to this court, which is the highest in the state of New York.

At the time, NYPD officials said her body had no signs of trauma and that they didn't suspect any foul play.

On Wednesday, April 12, Sheila Abdus-Salaam's body was found in the Hudson River.

"She was a humble pioneer", Mayor de Blasio said in a tweet.

And after the state Senate confirmed her nomination, Abdus-Salaam received a standing ovation.

Elected to the New York Supreme Court in 1993, Abdus-Salaam remained there until 2009, and was appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013.

There was also the looming knowledge that she suffered from depression and had lost her mother and brother around this time of year; her brother from suicide.

The judge's extended family also weighed-in on Abdus-Salaam, who was born Sheila Turner and who was widely hailed as the nation's first female Muslim judge.