Civil rights activist Theresa Patricia Okoumou became a hero to many after she scaled the Statue of Liberty on Fourth of July, without any climbing gear, to protest President Donald Trump and his administration's brutal policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the USA border.
The 44-year-old Congolese immigrant and Staten Island resident, climbed the tower on Tuesday to protest Trump's "zero tolerance" policy that caused thousands of immigrant children to be detained and separated from their parents.
Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, was arrested on Wednesday after she climbed the statue's pedestal and began a three-hour standoff with police that led to the evacuation of the landmark on the Fourth of July holiday, celebrating USA independence.
Her attorney, Rhidaya Shodhan Trivedi, told reporters: "We are going to keep fighting until family separation is a thing of the past".
Visitors were evacuated from Liberty Island via tour boats, as two Emergency Services Unit officers climbed a ladder to the statue's base, hoping to reason with the woman.
"You see that clown yesterday on the Statue of Liberty", Trump asked the crowd of 1000s.
Okoumou, of Staten Island, "staged a risky stunt that alarmed the public and endangered her own life and the lives of the (New York Police Department) officers who responded to the scene", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.More news: Spain needs to stay motivated for last World Cup group match
Her climb sparked a almost four-hour standoff with police.
"The message was sent-no child belongs in a cage", Okoumou said.
Therese Patricia Okoumou leaves federal court in Manhattan, New York, on Thursday, July 5, 2018.
A woman appears to be climbing up the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 2018, in NY. "As the court noted, Mr. Davidson's artistic creation of the Las Vegas Lady Liberty is highly unique and attractive, which is what prompted the US Postal Service to select a photo of his work for the second ever Forever Stamp, over hundreds of other images", he said.
Police earlier indicated that seven other protesters from her group may have encouraged Okoumou to climb the statue, but her colleagues have said that they were not aware of her decision. "She would not come down by voice command", National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis said. She is due back in court August 3. Okoumou moved around occasionally and waved a T-shirt that read "Rise and Resist" and "Trump Care Makes Us Sick".
If convicted, Okoumou, a personal trainer, would face up to six months behind bars on each count.