Therese Patricia Okoumou recently spoke out about her bold protest at the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth Of July. Okoumou, 44, a Black woman and native of the Republic Of Congo, knew that she risked her life—and that police officers could have fatally shot her—as she stood up against the caging of migrant children ordered by the Trump administration.
“I said ‘Don’t come up,'” Okoumou told The Guardian, referring to the unnamed police officer who tried to get her down before she was taken into federal custody. “He said ‘I care about you.’ I said, ‘No, you don’t, you could shoot me the way you shot Claudia Gomez and killed the trans woman.” Okoumou referred to Gomez, the 20-year-old Guatemalan woman shot by the border patrol in Texas last month, and Roxana Hernández, from Honduras, who died in ICE custody in May after reportedly spending five days in a detention holder cell called the “ice box.”
Okoumou was charged with three misdemeanors in federal court on Thursday. However, she still remains strong in spirit, taking a cue from Michelle Obama.
“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.