Criminal Justice

Police find no criminality in death of judge on New York's top court

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Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam/New York State Unified Court System photo

Police have concluded the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam of the New York Court of Appeals was a likely suicide.

New York City police closed their investigation and sent the case to the medical examiner for a final determination on the cause of death, reports NPR, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and CBS New York.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told NPR that investigators found no evidence of criminality in the death of Abdus-Salaam, 65, whose body was found April 12 in the Hudson River. Abdus-Salaam was the first female African-American judge to serve on New York’s top court.

Abdus-Salaam’s husband, Gregory Jacobs, had disputed suggestions that his wife’s death was a suicide.

Surveillance video had captured Abdus-Salaam walking alone in the hours before her death. She was last recorded on video at about 12:30 a.m. in a park bordering the river. But there is a blank between that time and the discovery of her body 13 hours later, CBS reports.

Lawyers who are dealing with depression and other mental health issues can find resources for help through the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

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