Therese Patricia Okoumou Climbed The Statue Of Liberty On The Fourth Of July To Protest Family Separation
A black woman was arrested on the 4th of July after climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty in protest of migrant children being separated from their guardians and/or parents.
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Therese Patricia Okoumou protested for close to three hours as she walked across the statue's base, according to CNN. The NYPD's Emergency Service Unit brought Okoumou down and took her into custody. Officers were outfitted with ropes and climbing gear to remove her from the statue. She was placed in a harness and assisted down as she crossed to the other side of the statue where officers were waiting with a ladder.
"At first, she wasn't friendly with us, but we took the time to get a rapport with her so that took a while," Officer Brian Glacken said at a news conference Wednesday evening. "She just kind of mentioned the kids in Texas. I guess the whole debate that's going on about that. In the beginning, she threatened to push us off, push the ladder off, but we stayed with her."
"At first she was being a little combative, then she was willing to cooperate with us. She actually apologized to us for having to go up and get her," Glacken added.
Okoumou is associated with the political movement Rise and Resist. But organizer Martin Joseph Quinn said the incident wasn't part of a planned protest.
Following the arrest, Okoumou was placed in federal custody where park police recommended possible charges including trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government functions. Seven other protesters who police believe helped Okoumou scale the statue were also arrested.