Liberty Island Evacuated After Woman Climbs Onto Statue of Liberty Pedestal


Wednesday, July 4th 2018, 6:49 pm
By: News 9


 Liberty Island in New York Harbor was evacuated Wednesday after a woman climbed onto the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. National Park Service Spokesperson Jerry Willis says people on Liberty Island were being taken to neighboring Ellis Island, Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

The climber was on the base of the pedestal. U.S. Park Police and the NYPD were on the pedestal attempting to make contact with the woman. Park officials first responded around 4:10 p.m., reports CBS New York.

The unidentified woman scaled the statue for at least a half hour, "refusing to come down," Sgt. David Somma of the U.S. Park Police told CBS News just after 4:30 p.m.

Somma said officials don't consider her a direct threat, but said her climbing the statue was a "threat to public safety." The woman, who was alone, has given "no indication" of why she was climbing the statue, Somma said.

She "keeps changing locations" and so officers have been "not able to communicate" with her, Somma said.

Earlier in the day, at least six people who hung a banner emblazoned with a message about abolishing the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency from the statue's pedestal were arrested. The sign read, "Abolish I.C.E."

ICE is a division of the Department of Homeland Security whose officers arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants inside the U.S., among other duties.

The ICE protest ended earlier, and the group Rise and Resist said on Twitter that the woman who climbed onto the pedestal was not linked to them.

Activists with the group say they hung the banner to protest U.S. immigration policy. They oppose President Trump's administration and advocate ending deportations and family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said the president's immigration policy is a step forward for public safety.

Willis says federal code of regulations prohibits hanging banners from the monument.

This is a developing story.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The ICE protest ended earlier, and the group Rise and Resist said on Twitter that the woman who climbed onto the pedestal was not linked to them.

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 (@riseandresistny) July 4, 2018

Activists with the group say they hung the banner to protest U.S. immigration policy. They oppose President Trump's administration and advocate ending deportations and family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said the president's immigration policy is a step forward for public safety.

Willis says federal code of regulations prohibits hanging banners from the monument.

This is a developing story.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Liberty Island in New York Harbor was evacuated Wednesday after a woman climbed onto the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

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