Therese Patricia Okoumou, a legal immigrant from the DR Congo, was released from jail on Thursday after her arraignment on three misdemeanor charges for climbing the Statue of Liberty.
Okoumou, 44, was arrested Wednesday after a 3-hour standoff at the base of the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July, a federal holiday. She says she climbed the statue to protest the separation of families at the Mexican border.
She pleaded not guilty in court to trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government administration. She was ordered released from federal custody by a sympathetic federal judge.
The Congolese activist wore a black, long-sleeve jersey with the words "White supremacy is terrorism" on the front.
Okoumou is a card-carrying member of the anti-Trump "Rise and Resist" militant group that is partially funded by Hillary Clinton's foundation and globalist George Soros.
Jay Walker, a Rise and Resist activist, initially denied Okoumou was a member until he saw a closeup image of her on TV.
Walker said group members were shocked to see Okoumou take it upon herself to climb the Statue of Liberty, which is a symbol of freedom and a path to legal residency for millions of immigrants.
“She didn't tell any of us about this plan. We were all really shocked," he said.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said the Manhattan AG office follows the letter of the law.
“While we must and do respect the rights of the people to peaceable protest, that right does not extend to breaking the law in ways that put others at risk,” said Berman in a statement on Thursday.
Following her release, Okoumou read a prepared statement to the media and supporters outside the federal courthouse (see video below).
"Michelle Obama, 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," she said.
She took a jab at President Donald Trump, saying he has "wreck this country apart. It is depressing, it is outrageous."
The muscular activist is no stranger to NYC law enforcement. Okoumou was assessed $4,500 in fines by the Department of Sanitation for illegally posting 60 flyers advertising her personal training services on dozens of utility poles in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island.
She was also arrested in 2017 for illegally demonstrating outside the Department of Labor building on Varick Street.
Okoumou taped over her mouth and refused to respond to officers' commands.