A woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty this summer in protest against the Trump government was found guilty on Monday of "dangerous stunts" by federal prosecutors calling vulnerable police officers. Therese "Patricia" Okoumou was charged with abuse, interference with official functions and disorderly behavior following the July 4 event, for which she did not plead guilty. Okoumou faces a jail term of up to 18 months.
LIBERARIAN LIBRARY SPEAKS OUTSIDE THE COURT OF JUSTICE, SAY DECISION THAT THE MONUMENT WAS "SPUR OF THE MOMENT". Okoumou was represented by Michael Avenatti.
Okoumou protested Trump's immigration policy on Independence Day as she climbed onto the base of Lady Liberty, which was about 25 feet above the monument's observation point, and refused to leave. The national park was closed prematurely as a precaution.
The woman was arrested about four hours later by two officers from the New York City Police Department. The rescue involved more than a dozen NYPD Emergency Service Unit personnel.
Okoumou "endangered himself and the police of the NYPD and US Park, who rescued and captured them," the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York said Monday.
WOMAN DEPUTED AFTER THE SCALING STATUE OF FREEDOM AFTER ANTI-ICE PROTESTS
"The ascent to the base of the Statue of Liberty went far beyond peaceful protest, a right we certainly respect," said Geoffrey Said Berman. "It was a crime that put people at risk."
A NYPD detective said, Okoumou said, "Basically, he says above about the kids in Texas." Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents earlier this year after the Trump government announced a "zero tolerance" policy on immigrants entering the US illegally. On Monday, Okoumou said in court that her pictures were given from the southern border to Mexico nightmares, adding that she could not live with the sight of "children in cages".
Before Okoumou had climbed the historic monument, she participated in a demonstration by the activist group Rise and Resist, who had hung a banner with the inscription "ABOLISH ICE" on the pedestal of the statue. The group said they had no idea that Okoumou had planned to scale the Statue of Liberty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.