United States’ first female Muslim judge found dead in Hudson River

A groundbreaking black jurist who became the first Muslim woman to serve as a U.S. judge is found dead in New York’s Hudson River, police say.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (NBC) – Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a 65-year-old associate judge on New York’s highest court and the first ever female Muslim judge in the U.S., was found floating off Manhattan’s west side on Wednesday (April 12) at about 1:45 p.m. (1745 GMT), a police spokesman said.

Police pulled Abdus-Salaam’s fully clothed body from the water and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her family identified her and an autopsy will be carried out to determine the cause of death, the police spokesman said.

Abdus-Salaam, a native of Washington, D.C., became the first African-American woman appointed to the Court of Appeals when Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo named her to the state’s high court in 2013.

According to the Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History Abdus-Salaam was also the first female Muslim to serve as a U.S. judge.