Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, was a pioneering judge on the New York Court of Appeals. She was the first black woman to be appointed to a seat on New York's highest court. Today, April 12, 2017 she was discovered floating, fully clothed, on the Manhattan side of the Hudson River, around 1:45 p.m. The New York Post reports that Sheila had been reported missing from her home in Harlem earlier in the day. Her husband later identified her body and the Post reported that there were no obvious signs of trauma or injuries indicating criminality or foul play, and that her death appeared to be a suicide. No official cause of death has been released… "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. 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," Governor Cuomo said this evening. She received her degree from Columbia Law School, and rose through the state ranks before eventually being elected to the NY Supreme Court in 1993. She was then appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Cuomo in 2013. Many lawyers and judges have been paying tribute to her this evening. She is remembered as a superb jurist and a wonderful person. She had recently remarried an Episcopal reverend. Our thoughts are with her loved ones and friends. Rest in paradise… ✨ #sheilaabdussalaam #nycourtofappeals #gonebutneverforgotten #restinpeace #gonebutnotforgotten #instamemorials #restinparadise
Sheila Abdus-Salaam Found Dead In The Hudson River
Police reported that her body showed no obvious marks or bruises, so the medical examiner plans to study her remains to determine the cause of death.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who personally appointed Abdus-Salaam the NY Court of Appeals back in 2013, only had fond words to speak of the woman he called a “trailblazing jurist.”
“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.”
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, worked hard to achieve her position. After growing up in poor means in a family of 7 kids in Washington D.C. she managed to graduate from Barnard College and earn a law degree from Columbia Law. Working up from a staff attorney position at East Brooklyn Legal Services, she eventually became a judge in the Manhattan Supreme Court, where she served for 14 years before being selected to the high court by Cuomo.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam was truly an inspiration, so it’s definitely sad to see her come to such a tragic end under mysterious (and likely foul) circumstances. Our thoughts are with her family members…