Officials praise Sheila Abdus-Salaam, who was serving on New York's court of appeals
The first American Muslim woman judge was found dead in the Hudson River in New York on Wednesday. The body showed no apparent signs of trauma or indication of foul play, US news outlets reported, citing police sources.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, served on New York’s court of appeals, the state’s highest bench.
Public officials praised Abdus-Salaam, noting her “groundbreaking” achievements.
Andrew Cuomo, who nominated Abdus-Salaam to the appeals court in 2013, called the late judge a “force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come.
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to her family, loved ones and colleagues during this trying and difficult time,” he said in a statement.
A Black female judge named Sheila Abdus-Salaam, who has a record of making police unions accountable, was found dead in the Hudson River
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) April 13, 2017
Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter said the judge's death is an "unspeakable tragedy".
"She was a conscientious, thoughtful judge who never lost her humility," he told the NY Daily News.
Abdus-Salaam, a Washington DC native and a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, came from a large working-class African American family, according to the Daily News. Prior to her ascension to the appeals court, she served as a judge in Manhattan Supreme Court for 14 years.