Hartford police detective terminated after using racial slurs during his DUI arrest

Robert Lanza (Photo: Plainville Police Department)

PLAINVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — At a disciplinary hearing Monday, Hartford police chose to terminate a detective that had used racial slurs while being arrested in August in Plainville.

Hartford Detective Robert Lanza was terminated Monday after being found guilty of violations of the Hartford police code of conduct; including conduct unbecoming of an employee.

Original Story: Hartford Police detective charged with DUI

According to an internal affairs investigation by Hartford police, during his arrest Lanza identified himself as a Hartford police officer, repeatedly used racial slurs, showed evidence of hostility towards individuals based on race, suggested that individuals of certain races are treated less favorably by law enforcement due to their race, provided false information to Plainville Police Officers, refused to comply with requests from Plainville Police to exit the vehicle, resisted efforts by Plainville Police to be handcuffed, requested special treatment because of employment as a Hartford Police Officer, and attempted to intimidate Plainville Police by advising them to never come to Hartford.

Related Content: Police: Officer used racial slurs during DUI arrest

The internal affairs investigation found Lanza had multiple violations of the department’s code of conduct. At a disciplinary hearing held Monday, the Hartford police department concluded that termination was the appropriate cause of action.

In a statement released by Hartford police Monday, the internal affairs division found Lanza’s behavior to undermine the department’s standing in the community.

These actions were egregious, deplorable and completely unacceptable for a Hartford Police Officer, and are grounds for termination even before considering their present and future detrimental effect upon the operations of the Hartford Police Department. This causes concerns over Detective Lanza’s ability to perform the functions of a police officer, as well as the public trust and legitimacy in his ability to enforce the laws equitably without regard to race or ethnicity. His behavior discredited the Hartford Police Department, undermined the good order and discipline of the Department, and damaged working relationships with other law enforcement agencies.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin also released a statement on Lanza’s termination, which read:

I fully support Chief Rovella’s decision to terminate Detective Robert Lanza’s employment as a Hartford Police Officer. Detective Lanza’s actions during and after his arrest by the Plainville Police Department in August 2017 were wholly unacceptable and fell far short of the Hartford Police Department’s high standard of conduct. Today’s termination sends a strong message that the use of racial slurs will not be tolerated, and that racism has no place in the City of Hartford.”

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