NYPD Says 'Numerous Photographers' Made Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Transport 'Challenging'
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at their destination and there were no reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests in regard," the police said in a statement
The New York City Police Department is speaking out after a spokesperson for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry said the couple was involved in a "near catastrophic car chase" in New York City on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, the NYPD released a statement to PEOPLE reading, "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."
The update comes hours after a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told PEOPLE that Prince Harry, 38, Meghan, 41, and her mom Doria Ragland were pursued by "a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi" while leaving the Ms. Foundation 2023 Women of Vision Awards: Celebrating Generations of Progress & Power. The event was held at Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan, where Meghan was recognized as one of this year's Woman of Vision Award honorees.
Related:N.Y.C. Mayor Slams Paparazzi After 'Near Catastrophic Car Chase' Involving Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
A spokesperson for the couple said in a statement to PEOPLE, "Last night, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland were involved in a near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi. This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers."
"While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone's safety," they continued. "Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all in involved."
Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace, the royal offices that run communications for King Charles and Prince William, had no comment when reached by PEOPLE Wednesday. The palace typically does not comment on matters involving the Duke and Duchess of Sussex following their step back from their royal roles in 2020.
The trio was traveling to a friend's private residence where they were staying after the event, PEOPLE has learned, when the pursuit began. Prince Harry's mother Princess Diana died in a 1997 car crash in Paris that also involved photographers pursuing her vehicle.
Related:Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Involved in 'Near Catastrophic Car Chase' by Paparazzi in New York City
RELATED VIDEO: N.Y.C. Mayor Slams Paparazzi After 'Near Catastrophic Car Chase' Involving Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
New York City Mayor Eric Adams referenced this event while briefly commenting on the news Wednesday.
During a public safety announcement about retail theft, a reporter asked the mayor if he could share any information or comment about the chase involving Harry and Meghan the night before.
"It's clear that the press, paparazzi, they want to get the right shot, they want to get the right story, but public safety must always be at the forefront," Adams said. "Two of our officers could have been injured. New York City is different from a small town somewhere. You shouldn't be speeding anywhere, but this is a densely populated city and I think all of us ... I don't think there's many of us who don't recall how [Prince Harry's] mom died and it would be horrific to lose innocent bystanders during a chase like this, and something to have happened to them as well, so I think we have to be extremely responsible."
"I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible," he added.
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When asked by another reporter about the duration of the chase, the elected official said he is still being briefed on the incident, but added, "I would find it hard to believe there was a two-hour high-speed chase."
However, he said even if it was a 10-minute pursuit, it would still be "extremely dangerous in New York City."
"We have a lot of traffic, a lot of movement, a lot of people are using our streets," Adams explained.
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