Police pull protester off Statue of Liberty

The 4th of July at Liberty Island was a chaotic holiday.

A woman climbed the exterior of the structure of the Statue of Liberty and then sat down by one of the statue's feet around 4 p.m., authorities said. U.S. Park Police and NYPD officers spent hours trying to talk her down.

She spent some time sitting, lying, and moving around the base. At one point, she removed her sneakers and tried to climb higher on the statue but wasn't able to get any higher.

More than two hours after she was first spotted, the NYPD ESU officers, wearing harnesses, grabbed her as she was putting on her sneakers.

The cops then put her into a harness and guided her down from the statue to safety. Within minutes, officers escorted the woman, in handcuffs, out of the pedestal and to a National Park Service building nearby.

The woman appeared to be wearing a "Rise and Resist" T-shirt, the New York Post reported.

The Associated Press, citing a federal source, identified the woman as Therese Okoumou, who was protesting the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border.


Earlier in the afternoon, protesters with the Rise and Resist movement displayed a protest banner on the lower portion of the monument. The banner read "Abolish ICE," a reference to the federal law enforcement agency that handles deportations.

Park Police offers briefly detained the protesters, issued them summonses to appear in federal court, and then released them.

The Rise and Resist protesters acknowledged that the woman who climbed the statue participated in the unfurling of the banner but that her later actions were not part of their protest.

"Rise and Resist planned a banner drop today at the Statue of Liberty. This action did not include the climber on the statue. Our action was completed earlier," the group tweeted. "While it was not part of our action, our first priority and concern "is for the safety of the climber."

The NYPD said it was not clear how the woman got onto the statue.

The National Park Service cleared the island of visitors as the drama unfolded.