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A Woman Climbed The Statue Of Liberty On The Fourth Of July To Protest Family Separation

The climber, Therese Patricia Okoumou, was eventually apprehended by officers after an hours-long standoff.

Last updated on July 5, 2018, at 11:31 a.m. ET

Posted on July 4, 2018, at 4:51 p.m. ET

A woman attempted to climb the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, prompting officials to evacuate the island.

Facebook: video.php

The woman, identified by the Associated Press as Therese Patricia Okoumou, told first responders that she climbed onto the statue "for the children in Texas," a New York Police Department officer told reporters Wednesday night.

Screen Capture / ABC7 Livestream / Via Facebook: ABC7

Per public records and social media profiles, Okoumou is a resident of Staten Island and an immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In a photo from a May protest against President Donald Trump in New York City that Okoumou shared to her Facebook page, she can be seen in a shirt similar the one she was wearing Wednesday.
Melissa Bender / Via instagram.com

In a photo from a May protest against President Donald Trump in New York City that Okoumou shared to her Facebook page, she can be seen in a shirt similar the one she was wearing Wednesday.

Police said Okoumou apologized to them for having to climb up and get her.

NYPD press conference on Statue of Liberty Climber: Responding officer: "She was basically up there [talking] about the children in Texas." She was combative at first, but “she actually apologized to Chris and I for having to go up there get her." https://t.co/rEoX2xEPwV

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At approximately 6:31 p.m. ET, NYPD officers who had also scaled the base of the statue were seen taking Okoumou into custody.

Screen Capture / Via Facebook: CBSNewYork

National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis told the Associated Press that officers had been trying to persuade Okoumou to come down for approximately three hours.

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Earlier Wednesday, the direct action group Rise and Resist protested at the landmark.

Martin Joseph Quinn / Rise and Resist / Via medium.com

At least six people were arrested by the United States Park Police after they unrolled a banner that read "Abolish ICE" near the base of the statue.

A National Park Service spokesman told the Associated Press that federal regulations prohibit hanging banners from the monument.

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The group later said that while Okoumou is affiliated with the organization and participated in the protest, the organizers of the protest did not know about her plans to scale the monument.

The Climber on the Statue of Liberty has no connection to our #abolishice action earlier today. @NYDailyNews @ABC

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. While it was not part of our action, our first priority and concern is for the safety of the climber.

Rise and Resist said in a statement that Okoumou "was one of forty participants in our planned banner action, but her decision to climb the statue was made independently of the group, without consulting any other member of the group."

"We understand and share her desire to see the immediate release of children from detention and reunion with their parents."

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.‏

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