PD: Hartford police detective terminated after using racial slur - WFSB 3 Connecticut

PD: Hartford police detective terminated after using racial slurs during DUI arrest

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Robert Lanza was terminated after he was arrested for driving under the influence charges while off duty this summer. (Plainville Police Department) Robert Lanza was terminated after he was arrested for driving under the influence charges while off duty this summer. (Plainville Police Department)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A Hartford police detective was terminated after he was arrested for driving under the influence charges while off duty this summer.

Robert Lanza, who had been with the Hartford Police Department for 12 years, was charged with driving under the influence and interfering with an officer.  

Lanza was stopped for a DUI in Plainville on Aug. 27, but he tried to use his position in law enforcement as leverage. 

"I know the game. I got money. I'm a cop," Lanza can seen saying in video released on Monday.  

During the incident, police said Lanza used several racial slurs in comments that were captured on audio and video. He called the officers names and even tried to intimidate them. 

"You treat me like an animal here," Lanza can seen saying in video. 

After Lanza's arrest, the Hartford Police Department Internal Affairs Division immediately initiated an internal investigation. Lanza was then charged with the following violations: conduct unbecoming an employee and arrest and conviction of any misdemeanor.

"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," the Hartford Police Department said in a statement on Monday. 

On Monday, Lanza was dismissed from the Hartford Police Department. His dismissal came after a disciplinary hearing where police "concluded that termination is the only appropriate course of action." 

"We don't want this single event to define the great commitment, professionalism and hard work of the officers in our department that they do every single day," Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said. "We've made incredible strides in community outreach, in community trust, when this happens, it hurts law enforcement as a whole."  

Hartford Mayor Luke A. Bronin said he fully supported the chief's decision to terminate Lanza. 

“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," Bronin said in a statement on Monday. 

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