Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the “trailblazing” leader being the first Black woman at the Court of Appeals of New York was found dead in a river.
The 65-year old associate judge is the pioneer Muslim woman to seat as a U.S. judge in New York’s highest court. Her body was found floating as reported by a police spokesperson off Hudson River at Manhattan’s west side on Wednesday at about 1:45pm.
Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s fully dressed body was pulled from the water by a policeman and was proclaimed dead at the scene. Salaam’s family identified the body and an autopsy would reveal the cause of her death, declared by a spokesperson.
The black jurist is a native of Washington, D.C. and became the pioneer African-American woman elected to the Court of Appeals by Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo in 2013. Cuomo revealed that Justice Abdus-Salaam was a pioneering jurist whose civic service life was in quest of a more just and fair New York for everyone.
She was declared as the first female Muslim to work as a U.S. judge by the Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History.
An unknown source revealed that Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam has been reported missing earlier on Wednesday from her New York home.
She started her career in law with East Brooklyn Legal Services after graduating from Barnard College and Columbia Law School and worked as a New York assistant general attorney. Abdus-Salaam held various judicial positions after being elected as judge in New York City in 1991.