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Hartford fights rehiring of detective who used racial slurs

Robert Lanza

HARTFORD — Hartford officials are fighting the proposed reinstatement of a city police detective who was fired after making racist comments while being arrested on drunken driving charges.

The city has asked a Hartford Superior Court judge to throw out an arbitrator’s award in May that would return Robert Lanza to the force under certain conditions. The city’s police union is supporting Lanza and is asking the judge to confirm the award.

Lanza was fired in January 2018 after being caught on camera the previous August using racial slurs while in the custody of Plainville police, who charged him with driving under the influence. The charge was later dropped after Lanza completed the state’s alcohol education program.

The arbitrator says Lanza should be rehired without back pay, and should undergo therapy.

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