The New York Police Department made a bizarre arrest on this 4th of July during a public protest that was sure to draw public attention.
The protestor, 44-year-old Therese Patricia Okoumou, decided to create a scene on the holiday by scaling the famous Statue of Liberty. Concerned citizens watched in awe as the lone protester jumped onto the statue’s base and continued climbing higher. A separate and unrelated group of protestors decided to hang a giant banner stating “Abolish ICE” at the statue while Okoumou stirred up more attention.
Responding authorities made a decision to evacuate the thousands of individuals visiting Liberty Island. Typically, around 20,000 tourists visit the Statue of Liberty each Fourth of July, but this year around 4,500 individuals were forced off the island while police dealt with the situation.
Once atop the Statue, Okoumou began walking, sitting, lying down and kicking her feet at different areas near the statue’s base. Police officers used safety ropes to scale the base about three hours after Okoumou began climbing.
Okoumou was detained by the New York Police officers once she was safely escorted to the ground. She reportedly told officers she acted the way she did to bring awareness to the migrant children’s situation in Texas. She has lived in Staten Island for the last ten years, but she is reportedly an immigrant who moved to America from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At least six other protesters were taken into custody for hanging the “Abolish ICE” banner. Federal rules prohibit demonstrators or other groups from hanging banners on the national monument.