A woman who climbed up to the robes of the Statue of Liberty to protest the separation of migrant families was taken into custody after a face-off with police on the Fourth of July.
Therese Patricia Okoumou, of Staten Island, was arrested after scaling the base of the statue and taking up temporary residence on Lady Liberty’s right foot. Authorities had tried to talk the woman down but she refused to leave. For nearly three hours, she crossed the base of the statue, at times sitting in the folds of the statue’s dress and under Lady Liberty’s sandal.
Okoumou is expected to appear in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday and may face felony charges including trespassing, disorderly conduct and violating national park regulations, police said.
Liberty Island, where the statue is located, was evacuated and all visitors were taken off the island through ferry. The woman was part of a group of protesters and had declared that she wouldn’t come down until “all the children are released.
The protester who climbed onto the Statue of Liberty is led away by police on July 4, 2018.
About 16 officers with the New York City Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit — a team trained to perform some of the most dangerous rescues in the city — took part in the rescue/apprehension effort, Officer Brian Glacken said in a news conference Wednesday evening.
Footage from helicopters showed her sitting at the base of the statue, occasionally lying on her stomach and kicking her feet up behind her
Okoumou was seen holding a t-shirt displaying the words “Rise and Resist” and “Trump Care Makes Us Sick.” The woman is associated with Rise and Resist, an organizer of the group
She wasn’t the only protester arrested at the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday. Earlier that afternoon, seven people were seized for holding a banner that read “ABOLISH ICE” off the base below the statue, which is technically called Fort Hood.
“At first, she wasn’t friendly with us, but we took the time to get a rapport with her so that took a while,” said Glacken.