It’s a sad day in New York. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the state’s first African-American female and Muslim judge in the Court of Appeals, was found dead in Manhattan on April 12. The 65-year-old’s body washed up on the banks of the Hudson River.
Completely devastating. Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was found dead on April 12 in New York City, when her body was discovered at the edge of the Hudson River off Manhattan. She was known for being not only the first African-American female but also the first Muslim to be appointed to New York’s highest court. At just 65 years old, this loss is tragic and a major blow to the people in her city that loved her.
Abdus-Salaam was reported missing earlier in the day on April 12, and her body was found around 1:45 pm EST when police responded to a report of a woman washed up on the Hudson. She was found fully clothed just one mile from her home in central Harlem. Though she was immediately pronounced dead at the scene, the cause of death has not yet been discovered, according to ABC 7 NY. So far police say there’s no sign of trauma or injuries that would indicate foul play.
Local politicians had nothing but amazing things to say about this inspiring woman. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who appointed her to the Court of Appeals in 2013, mourned her shocking death, saying “Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all. As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer. Through her writings, her wisdom, and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come.”
“I was proud to appoint her to the state’s highest court and am deeply saddened by her passing,” he continued. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to her family, loved ones and colleagues during this trying and difficult time.”
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas was also shattered by the news, and shared her deepest sorrow on Twitter. “Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a groundbreaking jurist whose distinguished service on the Court of Appeals, the New York State Supreme Court, as a public defender and public servant made our communities stronger and more just. My heart goes out to her family, friends and colleagues as they mourn this tragic loss.”
HollywoodLifers, send your thoughts to Abdus-Salaam’s family below.