She was America’s first female Muslin judge, rising all the way to the New York State Supreme Court. Shelia Abdus-Salaam was a star on the bench, nominated for her position in 2013 by Governor Cuomo and unanimously approved. Her recent death was shocking, and according to the New York Police Department, it is now also being treated as a “suspicious” incident.
“We’re looking at it as a suspicious death at this point. We haven’t found any clear indications of criminality, but at this point, we can’t say for sure. We’re hoping if anyone could shed any light into the hours before her disappearance, it would help us establish what happened,” said NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis.
Abdus-Salaam’s body was found floating in three feet of water near Manhattan’s west side on Wednesday afternoon last week. Her death was initially treated as a suicide with one law enforcement officer stating that both her mother and brother died in recent years around Easter; the brother taking his own life. There is no clear evidence at this point of criminality, but there is also no clear evidence of suicide either. The judge’s body was found with mysterious bruising around the neck but none of the bleeding that usually occurs during strangulation. She also had water in her lungs. The police are hoping that there are witnesses who could shed light into the hours before her disappearance. She last talked to her husband on the Monday evening before her body was found, and her assistant on that next Tuesday morning.
Shelia Abdus-Salaam graduated from Barnard College in 1974 and from Columbia Law School in 1977. She served as the Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights for several years, the New York Court of Appeals and finally the New York State Supreme Court.
The current tensions that exist racially and in religion have manifested in an increase of hate crimes across the nation. The police are remaining suspicious until the full results of an autopsy, as well as any new information from witnesses, can confirm what really happened in Judge Abdus-Salaam’s death.
Credit: Occupy Democrats