‘Dangerous and Unacceptable Behavior’ Could Lead to Arrests in Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s Car Chase

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Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave The Ziegfeld Theatre on May 16, 2023 in New York City. - Credit: James Devaney/GC Images
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave The Ziegfeld Theatre on May 16, 2023 in New York City. - Credit: James Devaney/GC Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were recklessly endangered during the car chase in New York City in May, according to a senior New York Police Department officer.

Among the documents released on Wednesday related to the judgment in the lawsuit where Prince Harry lost his bid to receive police security in the U.K. was a letter from the New York City Police Department to the Metropolitan Police in London. The letter from the NYPD’s Chief of Intelligence confirmed an investigation found “reckless” behavior by paparazzi when Harry and Markle were engaged in a dangerous car chase after leaving a public event, the New York Times reports.

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At the time, the NYPD said that while the photographers posed a challenge, the couple, including Markle’s mother, arrived to their destination without “reported collisions, summonses, injuries, or arrests.”

But in the letter on Wednesday, police said that after an investigation, they found “reckless disregard of vehicle and traffic laws and persistently dangerous and unacceptable behavior on the part of the paparazzi during the night in question.”

“The individuals operated vehicles, scooters and bicycles in a manner that forced the security team, which included an NYPD Lead Car, to take evasive actions on several occasions and a circuitous route to avoid being struck by pursuing vehicles or trapped on side blocks. Our conclusion, upon review with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, is that we have sufficient evidence to arrest two individuals for reckless endangerment,” the Chief of Intelligence wrote, according to the Daily Beast. The NYPD has not yet arrested anyone in connection with the incident.

The NYPD also said that there would be changes in security provided to Harry and Markle on future visits to the city following the May incident.

After the chase, a spokesperson for the royal couple issued a statement describing the event: “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 (New York Police Department) officers.”

The couple have long been critical of media scrutiny on their private lives after British tabloids leaked a personal letter Markle had sent her father in 2019. The couple also sued a number of news outlets, accusing them of hacking their phones that same year. And they continued to be critical of paparazzi in their Netflix reality series, 2022’s Harry & Meghan.

Part of Harry’s wariness around paparazzi stems from the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who had been vocal about her criticism of paparazzi. She died in a car crash in Paris while being chased by photographers on Aug. 31, 1997. The collision also killed her companion, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul. A 2006 investigation by British police ruled out foul play in the crash, calling it “a tragic accident.” Harry was 13 at the time.

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