Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Nation’s First Muslim Judge, Found Dead in New York

She was a initial African-American to lay on New York State’s top court. She was also a nation’s initial Muslim judge.


And on Wednesday afternoon, Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s physique was found floating off Manhattan in a Hudson River, according to a New York Police Department.

It was not transparent how prolonged a 65-year-old judge, who lived in circuitously Harlem, had been in a H2O when she was detected nearby West 132nd Street.

The New York City Medical Examiner is “unable to endorse a means and demeanour of genocide during this time,” a orator told NBC News. Asked either they were questioning a judge’s genocide as a probable suicide, an NYPD orator told NBC News: “The medical investigator will establish a means of genocide and a review is ongoing.”

Sheila Abdus Salaam


Sheila Abdus Salaam

There were no signs of mishap when Abdus-Salaam’s physique was found, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert K. Boyce pronounced in a press discussion Thursday. He pronounced it was too shortly to tell if self-murder was a means of death.

Abdus-Salaam had her Metrocard on her and military don’t trust remedy figured in her death. She had spent a weekend with her husband, a Rev. Gregory Jacobs, in New Jersey and spoke with her partner on Tuesday morning, Boyce said.

Meanwhile, tributes poured in for a reputable jurist who Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called a “trailblazer.”

“During her time on a bench, Justice Abdus-Salaam warranted a honour of all who seemed before her as a thoughtful, thorough, and satisfactory jurist,” he pronounced in a matter “I join all those who knew Justice Abdus-Salaam in anguish this terrible loss.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called her a “humble pioneer.” And Gov. Andrew Cuomo pronounced Abdus-Salaam hexed an “unshakable dignified compass.”

“She was a force for good whose bequest will be felt for years to come,” Cuomo said.

Asked what creates her a good judge, Abdus-Salaam pronounced in a 2012 form for Columbia Law School Magazine, “I cruise people cruise me to be a decider who listens and gives them a satisfactory shot.”

Born Sheila Turner in Washington on Mar 14, 1952, Abdus-Salaam was a great-granddaughter of a slave. She took her initial husband’s final name and continued to use it professionally after that matrimony ended, according to a Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History.

One of 6 children lifted by operative category parents, Abdus-Salaam attended open schools and initial became meddlesome in a law by examination a TV uncover “Perry Mason.” But she found her pursuit when Frankie Muse Freeman, a polite rights profession and a initial lady to be allocated to a United States Commission on Civil Rights, visited her high school.

“She was riveting,” Abdus-Salaam removed in a profile. “She was doing what we wanted to do: regulating a law to assistance people.”

The decider also gave her mom credit for pulling her to succeed.

“If my mom wasn’t such a intelligent and quick woman, we competence have finished adult in encourage caring or worse,” Abdus-Salaam recalled in 2015 during a Black History Month celebration. “Although she forsaken out of school, my mom satisfied that a good preparation would assistance us shun a misery that we were trapped in.”

Abdus-Salaam warranted her bachelor’s grade during Barnard College in 1974 and graduated 3 years after from Columbia Law School where she was classmates with destiny U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, who remembered as serious though fun-loving.

“Sheila could boogie, though there was a earnest about her, a clever clarity of purpose during a comparatively immature age,” he said. “She never forgot where she came from.”

Her initial pursuit out of college was as a open defender in Brooklyn where she mostly represented bad defendants and immigrants in landlord contra reside disputes.

“The pursuit was not only legal, though also partial amicable work, and some partial education,” she pronounced in a profile.

Later, she was an partner profession ubiquitous in a New York State Department of Law’s polite rights where she won an anti-discrimination fit on interest of 30 womanlike city train drivers who had been poorly upheld over for promotions.

In 1994, Abdus-Salaam became a nation’s initial Muslim decider when she started portion on a New York Supreme Court. Then in 2009, Gov. David Paterson allocated her associate probity to a New York Appellate Division of a Supreme Court.

In 2013, Cuomo nominated Abdus-Salaam to fill a cavity on a New York Court of Appeals and praised her “deep bargain of a bland issues confronting New Yorkers.” And after a state Senate reliable her nomination, Abdus-Salaam perceived a standing ovation.

She fast renowned herself as a champion of a bad and downtrodden and as a sidestep opposite a absolute and politically-connected corporations. She also wrote a landmark preference that gave a non-biological primogenitor in a same sex integrate visitation rights after a breakup.

Abdus-Salaam was married 3 times. Her second father was James Hatcher. And she is survived by Jacobs, whom she married in 2016 and who is a apportion during a Episcopal Diocese of Newark.


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