Footage shows New York judge hours before death
New York, April 20 (IANS) Security officials have recovered video surveillance footage of Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first Muslim judge in the US, walking alone near the Hudson River, about 12 hours before her body was found in the water, the New York Police Department said.
The body of Judge Abdus-Salaam, 65, was found on April 12 in the river, and though no note was found, law enforcement said it was a possible suicide.
Footage from multiple surveillance cameras shows the judge walking alone in Harlem not far from the river about 9 p.m. on April 11 and again just after midnight, NYPD’s Sgt. Brendan Ryan told CNN on Wednesday.
She is seen in the footage dressed in the same clothes she was wearing at the time her body was discovered.
Abdus-Salaam was also the first African-American woman to serve on New York state’s highest court.
Her death is still under investigation after the initial autopsy completed last week came back inconclusive and the cause and manner of death are pending while additional testing is processed, according to Medical Examiner’s Office spokesperson Julie Bolcer.
"Until such a determination is made, the death may be classified as suspicious, in that the circumstances have not been clearly established," the NYPD said in a statement to CNN.
Robert Boyce, chief of detectives for the New York police, told reporters that there were no apparent injuries to Abdus-Salaam’s body and that her death did not appear to be criminal in nature.
Since 2013, Judge Abdus-Salaam had been one of seven judges on the State Court of Appeals, reports The New York Times.
Before that, she served for about four years as an associate justice on the First Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, and for 15 years as a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan.
She was previously a lawyer in the city’s Law Department.