NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Police have safely brought down a protester sitting on the base of the Statue of Liberty after scaling the monument on the Fourth of July.
She was up there for nearly four hours, refusing to come down.
As officers approached, she initially moved away, took off her shoes and appeared to be starting to climb further.
Then she sat against the statue’s foot, and the officers went up to her. They later put on her shoes and attached a harness to her.
After two New York Police Department officers went up to the base and reached her, news helicopter video showed her and the officers moving carefully along the edge of the statue’s robes toward a ladder police had set up.
She climbed down about 25 feet to the statue’s observation point, with another officer descending ahead of her.
Liberty Island had been evacuated during the drama.
National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis says the climber was at the base beneath the statue’s foot Wednesday afternoon.
Willis says at least six people were taken into custody then. He says federal regulations prohibit hanging banners from the monument.
The banner said “Abolish I.C.E.,” referring to part of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE officers arrest and deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally, among other duties.
Activists with the group Rise and Resist say they hung the banner to protest U.S. immigration policy. They oppose President Donald Trump’s administration and advocate ending deportations and family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The group behind the banner says the climber isn’t connected to the earlier demonstration.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said the president’s immigration policy is a step forward for public safety.
Protests and evacuations at the Statue of Liberty are rare but not unheard of.
Last February, someone hung a banner reading “Refugees Welcome” from the observation deck. The sign was taken down about an hour after being discovered.
A year earlier, a West Virginia man with psychological problems was sentenced to time served after calling in a bomb threat. His call forced the evacuation of Liberty Island, sending 3,200 people on boats back to lower Manhattan and New Jersey.
The statue, a gift from France, was dedicated in 1886. It became a welcoming symbol for immigrants and refugees coming to the U.S.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)