Esther Salas, U.S. Judge for the District of New Jersey, pleaded for the protection of judges like herself in an emotional video released on Monday, two weeks after an embittered anti-feminist lawyer fatally shot her son, Daniel, and left her husband critically injured in their home in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
“While my husband is still in the hospital recovering from his multiple surgeries, we are living every parent’s worst nightmare: Making preparations to bury our only child, Daniel,” Salas said, her voice breaking. “My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure.”
The judge asserted that easy access to her personal information allowed the “sick and depraved human being” responsible for the attack, whom authorities have identified as Roy Den Hollander, to target her family as she presided over his lawsuit against the male-only military draft.
“We know that our job requires us to make tough calls, and sometimes those calls can leave people angry and upset. That comes with the territory, and we accept that,” Salas said. “But what we cannot accept is when we are forced to live in fear for our lives because personal information, like our home addresses, can easily be easily obtained by anyone seeking to do us or our families harm.”
She pointed to the killing of her son as a warning sign of the heightened threat against judges in the country.
“My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those empowered to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench,” said Salas. “Now, more than ever, we need to identify a solution that keeps the lives of federal judges private.”
Watch Salas below:
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