PLAINVILLE – A Hartford police detective charged with drunk driving early Sunday by local police used ethnic and racial slurs during his arrest, according to investigators within his police department.
Detective Robert Lanza, 43, of Wolcott, an 11-year member of the Hartford Police Department, was charged with operating under the influence and interfering with police after another motorist filmed him weaving and swerving in traffic on Route 72 at around 12:20 a.m. Lanza failed sobriety tests and was uncooperative with Plainville officers, reports said.
Hartford police initiated an internal affairs investigation into the incident after being notified by Plainville officers, Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said.
After reviewing audio and video of the arrest, Hartford investigators confirmed that Lanza used “several” ethnic and racial slurs during the arrest process, Foley said.
Community leaders were notified of the slurs Tuesday, Foley said. “Our community has grown to expect two things from us, transparency and accountability,” Foley said. “While many police departments around the nation have made great efforts to keep incidents like this a secret, we have brought it directly to our closest partners and critics.”
Lanza was assigned to administrative duties within the Detective Bureau as the internal investigation continues, Foley said. The slurs will be specifically “addressed in our administrative investigation and outcome.”
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com