Friendship Heights officials, tired of foreign diplomats and their families escaping parking fines, last week asked the federal government to end diplomatic immunity.
Residents of the small community, just northwest of the District line, said they are irked that diplomats are immune from local laws, and therefore pay no penalties when they violate them, Village Manager Alice Bushnell reported.
She said the Village Council saw no reason for diplomats to be exempt, and last week passed a resolution asking House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. and Secretary of State George P. Shultz to repeal diplomatic immunity.
The council's action was prompted in part by an incident that occurred last November, when the son of the Brazilian ambassador allegedly shot a bouncer at a Northwest Washington bar, Bushnell said. The son was arrested but released because of diplomatic immunity.
Bushnell said it also is "totally inequitable" that embassy officials are able to avoid parking fines.
"Diplomatic immunity should be abolished in its present form," she said. "In its place should be a new international code of appropriate fines and penalties for crimes."
Friendship Heights' attack on diplomatic immunity is in keeping with a fighting tradition. Dissatisfied with Montgomery County police protection, the Village Council once hired its own security patrol. The litigious community appears regularly in court, challenging private developers and county agencies alike.
In an action that drew national attention in 1981, the council attempted to ban bullets, but the measure never took effect.
As for the council's attempt to get diplomatic immunity repealed, Bushnell said: "We don't anticipate that federal officials are all going to drop what they're doing to work on this. But it does request what the people in this district feel: That the current code for diplomatic immunity should be looked into for some changes."
In other action, the council reviewed the village's proposed fiscal 1984 budget of $811,000, which will be the subject of the next council hearing Feb. 14.