Therese Patricia Okoumou, a.k.a. the Statue of Liberty climber, was charged with trespassing, interfering with agency functions and disorderly conduct. She pled not guilty Thursday. You may have watched on television as New York police ended her four hour Independence Day stunt to voice her support of abolishing ICE.
Wearing a White Supremacy is Terrorism t-shirt outside the courthouse, Okoumou included former First Lady Michelle Obama in her remarks to the press. Because, of course.
“Our beloved first lady that I care so much about said when they go low, we go high, and I went as high as I could,” Okoumou said, noting she would not climb the Statue of Liberty again because “the judge told me not to.”
About 16 officers with the New York City Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit — a team trained to perform some of the most dangerous rescues in the city — took part in the rescue/apprehension effort, Officer Brian Glacken said in a news conference Wednesday evening.
“At first, she wasn’t friendly with us, but we took the time to get a rapport with her so that took a while,” said Glacken.
“She just kind of mentioned the kids in Texas. I guess the whole debate that’s going on about that. In the beginning, she threatened to push us off, push the ladder off, but we stayed with her,” Glacken added.Finally, officers with ropes and climbing gear reached her.“At first she was being a little combative, then she was willing to cooperate with us. She actually apologized to us for having to go up and get her,” Glacken told reporters.
“You saw that clown yesterday on the Statue of Liberty. You see that guys that went up there. I wouldn’t have done it,” the Republican president said Thursday night, praising the bravery of police officers who ascended the statue’s base and persuaded her to climb down.He added: “I would have said, ‘Let’s get some nets, and let’s wait till she comes down. Just get some nets.'”
Rise and Resist says it has arranged “expert legal options” for the court process. The group, which initially denied any connection to the climber, later claimed her as a member and said she had been to meetings in New York. They described her actions as “rogue,” though, and said that had not been part of the planned protest.
“Patricia is our friend, our comrade, our sister,” the statement said in part. “From the moment that we realized that this amazing woman whom we have gotten to know, love, and respect was the person who had climbed to the foot of Lady Liberty, we had three concerns: one for her safety from falling, second, for her safety as a woman of color who was about to be engaged by law enforcement, and third, to find her the best legal representation that we could.”
What a waste of time. She endangered her life, the lives of law enforcement, and offered nothing new to the debate on immigration reform. She’s been arrested before for protesting. All of her current charges are misdemeanors. She was released without bail and her court date has been set in August.