Death of NY Judge Found in River ‘Suspicious’: Police

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The NYPD said Tuesday that the death of a New York judge whose body was found in the Hudson River earlier this month is “suspicious.”

Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam — the first black woman appointed to New York State’s highest court, and the first Muslim woman to serve as a U.S. judge — was found dead in the Hudson River near Manhattan last Wednesday. 

Her body showed no obvious signs of trauma, and police declined to speculate on the cause of her death. 

NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis said “we’re looking it at as a suspicious death at this point,” according to a report in The New York Post. 

The NYPD said Abdus-Salaam’s death is being treated as suspicious until an investigation is completed and it’s determined exactly how she died.

“We haven’t found any clear indications of criminality,” Davis said, “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.”

Investigators have been combing through surveillance video for days, but have had trouble piecing together the hours before Abdus-Salaam’s death, according to the Post. 

Abdus-Salaam, 65, was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of New York in 1993, where she remained until 2009. She was serving on the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York State, before her death. She was appointed to the position by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013.

Cuomo called her a “pioneer” and a “force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come” in a statement. 

In Harlem last week, friends and colleagues remembered her as a kind, gentle and loving fixture of her community. 

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