Statue of Liberty climber guilty of trespassing for immigration protest
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty's stone pedestal to protest U.S. immigration policy declared in federal court on Monday she would do it again to call attention to the plight of families separated at the border and was found guilty of trespassing. Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, was also convicted of interfering with governmental administration and disorderly conduct before a U.S
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty's stone pedestal to protest U.S. immigration policy declared in federal court on Monday she would do it again to call attention to the plight of families separated at the border and was found guilty of trespassing.
Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, was also convicted of interfering with governmental administration and disorderly conduct before a U.S. magistrate judge in New York City.
Each misdemeanor count carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail, according to Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York. Okoumou, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who the New York Daily News said became a U.S. citizen in 2016, remains free pending her sentencing on March 5, Biase said.
In a statement announcing the guilty verdict, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said Okoumou's actions "went well beyond peaceable protest."
"It was a crime that put people at grave risk," Berman said, calling her conduct "dangerous and reckless."
Okoumou was arrested on July 4 after she scaled the base of the statue and began a three-hour standoff with police that led to the evacuation of the landmark in the midst of the U.S. Independence Day holiday.
She and her lawyer later said her act of civil disobedience was primarily a demonstration against the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant children from parents who were caught crossing the U.S. border illegally.
Administration officials said the policy was needed to secure the border, but it was ended in June after images of separated youngsters held in cage-like detention facilities sparked a furor both at home and abroad.
Testifying in her own defence on Monday, Okoumou was asked by her attorney, Ron Kuby, whether she would repeat her protest under the same circumstances. She answered, "Yes."
"As long as our children are being placed in cages, my moral values call for me to do something about it," she said in court, according to Kuby and the Daily News account.
(Reporting by New York bureau staff; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut
By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.
By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son