The woman was part of a group of protesters and had declared that she wouldn’t come down until “all the children are released, sources say.
NEW YORK (CNN) — 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 standoff with police on the Fourth of July.
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. The woman was identified as Therese Patricia Okoumou by a law enforcement source close to the investigation and another source who knows her.
The woman was part of a group of protesters and had declared that she wouldn’t come down until “all the children are released,” a source with the New York Police Department told CNN.
About 16 officers with the New York City Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit took part in the rescue/apprehension effort, Officer Brian Glacken said in a news conference Wednesday evening.
“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.
Finally, officers with ropes and climbing gear reached 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 told reporters.
Officers put a harness and ropes on her to bring her down, and she crossed to the other side of the statue with the officers where a ladder was propped up on the base of the statue.
The woman is affiliated with Rise and Resist, an organizer of the group, Martin Joseph Quinn, told CNN. But, Quinn said, her climb was not part of the planned protest. “She climbed without our knowledge. It was not part of our action,” Quinn said.
National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis said the woman was in federal custody Wednesday evening and will be transported to a US Marshals office in Manhattan.