Trump calls Statue of Liberty climber a clown

Police: Newspaper gunman planned deadly attack carefully

The woman, Therese Okoumou, told police she was protesting the separation of immigrant children from parents who cross the U.S. -Mexico border illegally, according to a federal official who was briefed on what happened but wasn't authorized to discuss it and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"Michelle Obama, our beloved First Lady that I care about so much about, said, 'When they go low, we go high, '" Okoumou said.

About 100 feet aboveground, the climber engaged in a four-hour standoff with police before two officers climbed up to the base and went over to her.

Tourists have been evacuated from Liberty Island in NY after a woman climbed up on to the Statue of Liberty and sat at the monument's base. Earlier in the day, Okoumou and dozens of other group members unfurled an "Abolish ICE" banner at the statue's pedestal.

Altogether, the Statue of Liberty and its supporting structure are about 305 feet tall.

The group Rise and Resist stage a protest at the Statue of Liberty in NY, U.S. July 4, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media.




However, the self-styled "direct action" group said it was not connected to the woman who tried to climb the statue, despite the "Rise and Resist" T-shirt. "She would not come down by voice command", said National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis.

Created in 2003, the agency has become a focus of criticism over US President Donald Trump's policy of "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration. "(This) alarmed the public and endangered her own life and the lives of the NYPD officers who responded to the scene", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. "In a democracy we don't put children in cages". The group said the climber is not affiliated with the earlier protest.

In 2017, Okoumou was arrested for trespassing, obstruction of government administration, and misdemeanor assault during a protest at the offices of New York state's department of labor on Varick Street in New York City, the New York Daily News reports.

The whole island was evacuated as a precaution.

Okoumou is now being held in federal custody and is scheduled to appear in a Manhattan court on Thursday. "As long as the three of us come down safe that's all that matters", said Glacken.

The incident forced authorities to evacuate Liberty Island on a sweltering holiday afternoon when thousands usually visit the statue, a symbol of American freedom that has stood in the New York Harbor since 1886.

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