NYC Mayor Eric Adams backs Harry and Meghan over ‘reckless’ car chase saying two officers could’ve been hurt

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams has told reporters that it is “reckless and irresponsible” for anyone to chase people in vehicles in the densely populated city following claims Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were involved in a “near catastrophic” pursuit by paparazzi photographers.

The mayor said he has not received a full briefing about the incident yet, but was especially concerned about reports of “multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers”.

“Two of our officers could have been injured,” Mayor Adams said on Wednesday, the morning after the chase. “New York City is different from a small town somewhere, you shouldn’t be speeding anywhere but this is a densely populated city.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have claimed they were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving “highly aggressive” paparazzi photographers that lasted over two hours and could have been fatal.

The Sussexes said in a statement that they were followed after attending a charity awards ceremony by the Ms Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work, on Tuesday evening.

It is understood the couple believe the pursuit could have been fatal, as it involved six blacked-out vehicles with unidentified people driving recklessly and endangering the convoy and everyone around them.

Meghan’s mother Dora Ragland was with them at the time.

In further remarks, Mayor Adams said that there are not many people who don’t recall how Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a high-speed chase in 1997 after trying to flee paparazzi in Paris.

 (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

He added: “It would be horrific to lose an innocent bystander during a chase like this and for something to have happened to them as well.”

Approached by The Independent, the NYPD said in a statement: “On [Tuesday] evening, May 16, the NYPD assisted the private security team protecting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. There were numerous photographers that made their transport challenging. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard.”

A statement from the couple said that traffic violations during the chase included vehicles being driven on the pavement and through red lights, reversing down a one-way street, illegally blocking a moving vehicle and driving while photographing and while on the phone.

They said those involved were confronted by uniformed police multiple times, but they continued the pursuit, and there was footage taken from security, along with other evidence, to support their allegations.

The family was staying at a private residence and did not want to compromise the security of their friend’s home, they said.