Officers recount rescue of protester at Statue of Liberty

Jul 06, 2018, 22:56
Officers recount rescue of protester at Statue of Liberty

"I wouldn't have done it", the Republican president said Thursday night, praising the bravery of police officers who ascended the statue's base and persuaded her to climb down.

Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman accused Okoumou of staging "a risky stunt that alarmed the public and endangered her own life" and those of police.

Okoumou was part of the Rise and Resist members who had hung an "Abolish I.C.E." banner from the statue earlier in the day and made a decision to climb the statue independently of the group.

Rise and Resist's Twitter page expressed support for Okoumou after facing criticism for allegedly distancing itself from her in initial statements on Wednesday.

Visitors were evacuated from Liberty Island via tour boats, as two Emergency Services Unit officers climbed a ladder to the statue's base, hoping to reason with the woman.

As The New York Daily News reports, Okoumou works as a personal trainer by profession, according to a 2009 Staten Island Advance article.

Therese Okoumou, 44, herself a first-generation immigrant, pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing, interference with government agency functions, and disorderly conduct.

Statue Cruises, which provides trips to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, turned away as many as 3,000 people because of the statue climber, company representative Rafael Abreu said.

But Trump said during a Montana campaign rally she should have been left alone until she chose to come down on her own.

"She said she was sorry for having us come up there".

"When they go low, we go high; and I went as high as I could", she said, drawing loud applause and cheers from fellow Rise and Resist members. The three-hour standoff concluded with Okoumou eventually cooperating with police, who arrested her once they were safely back on the ground.

Trump, at a rally in Great Falls, Montana, called Okoumou a "clown" and praised the Park Police for getting her down safely.

If she is convicted of the charges, she could face up to 18 months behind bars. "We understand and share her desire to see the immediate release of children from detention and reunion with their parents". The replica "brought a new face to the iconic statue-a face which audiences found appeared more "fresh-faced, ' "sultry" and even 'sexier" than the original located in NY", the suit said.

The park service was reviewing security videotape to try to determine how the woman was able to make the climb, Willis said.

Earlier and farther below, at least six people were taken into custody after unfurling a banner that read "Abolish I.C.E.", Willis said.

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