By Alex Solari, Staff Writer
On Wednesday, April 12, the first Muslim woman to serve as a U.S. judge was found dead in New York’s Hudson River, according to Reuters. She was a 65-year-old judge named Sheila Abdus-Salaam, and was an associate judge of New York’s highest court.
The NYPD finds this death suspicious, since it’s mot known as to how Abdus-Salaam ended up in the river in the first place. Unfortunately, there is no video to see where she may have been that day, or what could have lead to her death. Initially, the police believed that she committed suicide, because both her mother and father died recently and she was struggling with depression. However, there is no evidence that Abdus-Salaam jumped into the river herself, and there was some slight bruising on her neck, which now makes police second guess how she died, according to The New York Post.
It’s so hard to decide what is most logical in this situation. Does it make more sense that Abdus-Salaam was killed, possibly as some act of hate and bigotry, or, that she committed suicide due to her depression? Although I’m quite torn on this, I have to say that it seems most likely that she was murdered. Here are some reasons why.
Abdus-Salaam was both the first Muslim woman to serve as a U.S. judge, and the first black female judge to serve on the state’s highest court.
There are so many people out there who are both Islamophobic and racist towards African-Americans, and since she represented both groups of people, it’s likely that some crazy, extremely bigoted person murdered her.
The fact that she held so much power may have made some bigot out there so angry that they decided her life needed to be taken.
The slight bruising on her neck also leads me to believe that Abdus-Salaam’s death was a homicide. If she did commit suicide, why would there have been bruising on her neck? It’s quite difficult to bruise your own neck, and it wouldn’t make much sense for her to do so.
Though I believe her death was a homicide, there is still a bit of evidence to suggest that she committed suicide.
So, let’s play devil’s advocate. She called her assistant to tell her she was sick and wouldn’t be coming into work the day of her death, which leads some to believe that she was planning her death.
Also, on April 11, around 8:30 p.m., there is video on her walking, headed towards the river, which also leads some to believe that she was planning her death beforehand.
Sheila was found dead in the river around 1:45 p.m. on April 12, and the last time she was seen alive was around noon that day when a deliveryman gave her a package. This means that within an hour and 45 minutes she somehow ended up in the river, dead.
Since there was no sign of forced entry in her home, how could someone kill her, in broad daylight, within an hour and 45 minutes, and still have enough time to throw her in the river without anyone seeing?
Now you can see why it’s so hard to pick a side on what happened in this horrific situation. The one piece of this story that convinces me this was a homicide though is her role as a judge. The fact that she was the first Muslim judge in the U.S., and the first black female judge in the state’s highest court, is an amazing feat. To me, it’s a little fishy that someone this powerful and accomplished would be found in the Hudson River. It’s not like everyday people are found dead like this, and it’s not every day that you see someone commit suicide in this bizarre way.
The death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam is incredibly unfortunate and heartbreaking, regardless of if it was a suicide or homicide. Right now, the evidence seems to point towards a homicide, but unfortunately, there’s not enough information to come to a conclusion about this.
Hopefully, more evidence is found, and if Abdus-Salaam was murdered, hopefully the person responsible is punished for their horrific actions.