According to the New York Daily News, law enforcement attempted to talk the woman down for several hours before they used climbing gear to apprehend her. The protestor was identified as Therese Patricia Okoumou, an immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who reportedly began climbing the bottom of the monument around 3 p.m. local time.
Once at the base, Okoumou was seen waving a shirt emblazoned with the slogans “Trump Care Makes Us Sick” as well as “Rise & Resist”; the latter is the name of a New York-based activist group that gathered at the Statue of Liberty earlier that day to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. Seven protestors within that group were arrested after they displayed a large banner that read “Abolish I.C.E.”
Rise & Resist organizers posted a tweet Wednesday, insisting Okoumou’s actions were not part of the plan.
The U.S. Parks Police evacuated Liberty Island during officers’ standoff with Okoumou. Authorities have reportedly recommended charges to U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The charges could include disorderly conduct, trespassing, and interfering with government functions—all of which are federal misdemeanors.
“She broke the law and will be charged federally,” Jerry Willis, a spokesman for the U.S. National Parks Service, told the Daily News. “She was on the copper of a national icon,” Willis said, adding that the copper is very thin and malleable. “She could do some damage.”
Okoumou is scheduled to appear in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday.