Judge Abdus-Salaam’s Death Ruled A Suicide

According to the city medical examiner, Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam drowned herself, confirming her death was a suicide.

Abdus-Salaam was the first Black woman to serve the New York state’s highest court. This past April, her body was found in the Hudson River.

In April, chief of Detectives, Robert Boyce said, “there is no apparent injuries to her body. It appears to be noncriminal at this point.” However, police were waiting for an autopsy from the medical examiner before ruling the death suicide.

The New York Times reports that the judge’s body consisted of bruises around her neck and water filled in her lungs, suggesting she was alive upon entering the river.

According to Essence Magazine, Rev. Canon Gregory A. Jacobs, the husband of Abdus-Salaam initially disputed any allegations of suicide.

“These reports [of suicide] have frequently included unsubstantiated comments concerning my wife’s possible mental and emotional state of mind at the time of her death,” said Rev. Jacobs. However, many news reports claimed the judge suffered from depression.

Rev. Jacobs continued his written statement by saying, “those of us who loved Sheila and knew her well do not believe that these unfounded conclusions have any basis in reality.”

  • Contributed by Devyn Rorie

WHUR Contributor


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