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Liberty Island Evacuated After Woman Climbs Onto Statue Of Liberty Pedestal

(CBS) — Liberty Island in New York Harbor was evacuated Wednesday after a woman climbed onto the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. After about three hours, two police officers eventually reached the woman and helped her down.

U.S. Park Police and the NYPD had been on the pedestal attempting to make contact with the woman. Park officials first responded around 4:10 p.m., reports CBS New York.

Sgt. David Somma of the U.S. Park Police told CBS News that officials didn't consider her a direct threat, but said her climbing the statue was a "threat to public safety." The woman, who was alone, had given "no indication" of why she was climbing the statue, Somma said.

National Park Service spokesperson Jerry Willis said people on Liberty Island were taken to neighboring Ellis Island, Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

At first, the woman kept changing locations, so officers were 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.

A member of the protest group, Rise and Resist, told CBS News that the woman who climbed onto the statue's pedestal was a fellow member, CBS News correspondent Anna Werner reports.

The protester who spoke to CBS News didn't identify the woman but said that the group wasn't aware of her plans.

Earlier, Rise and Resist said on Twitter that the woman was not linked to them.

Rise and Resist@riseandresistny

The Climber on the Statue of Liberty has no connection to our #abolishice action earlier today. @NYDailyNews @ABC

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.

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