Tragedy of Harry Dunn sparks criticism of ‘diplomatic immunity’

Autumn Page, Contributor

Harry Dunn, a 19-year-old teenager from the U.K., was killed in late August 2019. He was hit while riding his motorcycle near Croughton, England. 

You may be thinking, “OK, why does this matter?” Well, the person who hit him, Anne Sacoolas, is wife to Jonathan Sacoolas — a diplomat’s wife. She was driving on the wrong side of the road, hitting him head on. Then she proceeded to leave the country a few weeks later. She flew into the United States, claiming diplomatic immunity, according to Vox. 

This caused a whirlwind of turmoil, since President Trump blames the UK — more so their roads. The parents of Harry, Tim Dunn and Charlotte Charles, visited the White House as a part of their campaign for justice, and received condolences from Trump. Then, they received the shocking news that the woman who killed their son was in the next room over and willing to meet, says a writer from The Washington Post. 

According to Harry’s parents’ spokesperson, Radd Seiger, it wasn’t a pleasant experience for them at the White House. The parents felt “ambushed,” and the word “circus” came to mind when Seiger recalled the experience. 

Harry’s parents have expressed a desire to meet with Sacoolas, and they have stated that they want any meeting to take place on British soil, according to The Washington Post article, with trained mental health experts on hand to help both sides come to terms with the situation. Dunn’s parents said Trump asked them repeatedly, through the duration of the meeting, if they would meet with Sacoolas, even though they had already declined the offer.

You may be wondering to yourself what the big deal is: This wasn’t planned for Harry’s parents. President Trump gave zero respect toward Harry’s parents, proposing that they meet with Anne — right there, right now. It was unplanned, and almost forced upon them. It almost seemed like it was all for the photos, no genuine concern or sorrow from President Trump. Of course the spokesman for the white house, Hogan Gidley, said Trump wasn’t trying to ambush anyone, when speaking to Fox News. 

Tim and Charlotte only went to the United States to try to persuade Anne to come to the UK to face justice and get their questions answered. They didn’t succeed in their attempts, and under diplomatic immunity Sacoolas made herself unavailable for inquiry or explanation. 

The Dunn family is seeking justice for the death of Harry, and they’re concerned that Sacoolas is being protected and their son’s death is being covered up. 

A statement from the family said: “It is clear that the Americans are desperate to protect Mrs. Sacoolas and are intent on ruthlessly and aggressively not letting her return. We are trying to find out why that is. We will not let up in our search for Justice for Harry. We now expect Northants Police to take over from the work we have done and the progress we have made, charge her and begin extradition proceedings to bring her back.” 

The family of Harry Dunn deserves justice for the terrible tragedy they now have to face. Their son’s killer gets to hide under a protective governmental blanket — and the family ends up filled with sorrow and grief, without any closure.