Just over a week ago, the body of New York Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam washed ashore from the Hudson River. Although the NYPD has yet to determine the cause of death, several media outlets reported that the judge’s death resulted from a “probable suicide.”
Earlier this week, police said they were investigating her death as suspicious even though they currently have no evidence of criminal activity. Their announcement, as well as the information that still lacks in the case, inspired Abdus-Salaam’s husband to pen a statement with a simple request for all media sources.
“Despite the ongoing investigation, some media outlets and others have conjectured that Sheila was the victim of a ‘probable suicide.’ These reports have frequently included unsubstantiated comments concerning my wife’s possible mental and emotional state of mind at the time of her death. Those of us who loved Sheila and knew her well do not believe that these unfounded conclusions have any basis in reality. And in the absence of any conclusive evidence, we believe such speculations to be unwarranted and irresponsible,” wrote Rev. Canon Gregory A. Jacobs in an official statement.
The reverend then continued to ask that all public officials “refrain from any baseless commentary and conjecture concerning the circumstances surrounding the death” of Abdus-Salaam.
Judge Abdus-Salaam was the first Black female judge to sit on New York’s highest court. Her sudden death shocked many judicial officials and politicians in the state.
This week, detectives obtained surveillance footage of Abdus-Salaam walking in her Harlem neighborhood on the night before her body was found on the 132nd Street bank of the river.
Rev. Jacobs said he has joined the NYPD in their investigation and hopes anyone with additional information will aid their effort.
“I now join with the NYPD in asking anyone in the neighborhood to step forward with any information that might help us determine what may have happened during those hours before her death,” Rev. Jacobs wrote.