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22 Mar

Image: Vanessa Carvalho/REX/Shutterstock

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein might be a little too curious about the crime he’s overseeing. Gorenstein will preside over the case of Therese Okoumou, who climbed the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 2018 – only now Gorenstein basically wants to climb it as well.

According to NBC New York, Gorenstein wants “to better appreciate the risks or hazards created by defendant’s conduct.” He filed a court order requesting a ladder and access to the area where Okoumou was found.

Okoumou climbed the Statue on Independence Day after an Abolish ICE protest, but a U.S. Attorney deemed the climbing to be “dangerous and reckless” compared to constitutionally sanctioned peaceable protest.

In a Dec. 2018 hearing, Okoumou said she was deeply affected by the images of children imprisoned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the border. Climbing the Statue of Liberty may not have reformed U.S. Border Patrol practices, but it did give Okoumou a bigger platform than before to express her disappointment.

Okoumou’s trial is set for March 5, which gives Gorenstein some time to have his recon order approved. ICE and its discontinuation are expected to be paramount issues leading up to the 2020 election.

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