Ruben Maye Nsue Mangue, Ambassador for Equatorial Guinea was once again visited by police Sunday evening after his daughter, once again, contacted police after a domestic violence incident. Responding police were told over the scanner "there's someone going crazy at her house" and a man "hit [his daughter] in the head with a chair."

This is coming from the Arlington Now news service here in Northern Virginia (fake Virginia for those keeping track).

I would say there will be more as the story unfolds, but there won't. Diplomatic Immunity means that everything stops here. No arrest. No charges. No investigation. And unless the State Department (which has been notified) revokes his diplomatic privileges, no recourse for a teenager who tonight will be sleeping in the house of her attacker. Again.

As a counterpoint to my own outrage over this. The State Department's job in these situations can be very difficult. Many U.S. diplomats work in host countries with far fewer personal rights than the United States. Taking action against a diplomat without support from the host country can result in U.S. diplomats feeling the pressure (e.g., jailed) abroad. Speaking as someone that knows people in the diplomatic core serving in some countries with ... very different laws, this is something that needs to be protected against.

The U.S. has historically been very liberal in its application of diplomatic immunity from criminal and civil suits for that very reason. And it's not just parking tickets in New York. In 1983, the son of a diplomat was allowed to leave the country without charges despite the NYC police department suspecting him of at least 15 rapes in the area. This People magazine archive article from 1983 sheds some light on other egregious abuses of diplomatic immunity. Many such incidents have occurred since its publication.


Most of these incidents are not widely reported on. It's ... known to the media establishment and after decades of highlighting the issue to no affect, today they are often just a blip on the radar. Parking violations only get coverage because its a public violation of the law. As was the diplomat that wasn't arrested after joking about having a shoe bomb on board a plane. This domestic beating isn't public. It didn't bother enough people to make it into the national conversation. So, like the first few times the police were sent to the ambassador's house to not do anything, it will likely stay a local web news story.