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Anita Van Buren

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Anita Van Buren
Van Buren Mothers Day
Name Anita Van Buren
Title Lieutenant
Affiliation NYPD
Division Homicide Unit
Narcotics Division (formerly)
Precinct 27th Precinct (1993-2010)
Occupation Police officer
Family Donald Van Buren (ex-husband)
Ric Van Buren (son)
Stefan Van Buren (son)
Frank Gibson (fiancée)
Status Alive
Actor S. Epatha Merkerson
First Appearance "Sweeps"
Last Appearance "Rubber Room"

Lieutenant Anita Van Buren was the head of the 27th Precinct detective squad for almost 20 years. She replaced Captain Donald Cragen as head of the precinct in 1993. (L&O: "Sweeps")

During her lengthy tenure as squad leader of the two-seven, she commanded various detectives; including Lennie Briscoe, Mike Logan, Tony Profaci, Rey Curtis, Ed Green, Nina Cassady, Cyrus Lupo and Kevin Bernard.

In 1994, during an attempted robbery on her while at an ATM, Van Buren shot one of her robbers in the arm, but the bullet passed through and killed the other robber, a mentally disabled kid who was unarmed. Van Buren was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting as she didn't intentionally kill the young man, but it continued to haunt her. She also helped to put away the other robber for the young man's death with the help of the mother of the kid she killed. (L&O: "Competence")

In 1997, she sued the NYPD after a white woman with less experience was promoted over her (L&O: "Ritual"). Her lawsuit, which resulted in an increased workload upon her precinct in retaliation, was unsuccessful. (L&O: "Bad Girl"; "Monster")

In 2001, Van Buren discovered that a case she solved 12 years earlier had been tainted by a less-than-accurate fingerprint match given to her by her friend in the forensics department, Lisa Russo. As a result, two innocent suspects were imprisoned and one of them died before they could be exonerated. In the end, Russo went to jail for her misconduct. Though Briscoe assured Van Buren that she was not at fault for what happened, she still felt very much guilty as her involvement in the original case was what got her promoted. (L&O: "Myth of Fingerprints")

In 2002, she assisted A.D.A. Ron Carver in setting up a sting operation to arrest another former acquaintance Terry Randolph for murder. (CI: "Badge")

In 2010, Van Buren spoke of and was seen getting treatment for cervical cancer, which by the end she appeared to have been cured of (L&O: "Rubber Room"). She presumably retired sometime afterward; as by 2013, Toni Howard was head of the two-seven. (SVU: "Poisoned Motive")

Officer-involved shootingsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Van Buren is the longest-lasting main character of the original Law & Order series; followed by Jack McCoy, Lennie Briscoe and Adam Schiff.
  • Van Buren was also one of the first female main characters on the show, along with Claire Kincaid.
  • Van Buren has been a cop for over 30 years.
  • In "Competence", after she accidentally kills an unarmed mentally challenged kid during an attempted robbery, Van Buren comments that she hadn't had to fire her gun in the entire 12 years she was on the force before that point.
  • Van Buren is divorced from Donald, who owns a hardware store (L&O: "Scoundrels"). They have two sons, Ric and Stefan. It is revealed that she spent five years as a patrol officer and seven years in undercover narcotics (L&O: "Fame").
  • She enjoys the poet Langston Hughes and she is left-handed (L&O: "Slave").
  • She is a graduate of John Jay College.
  • Her father was wounded in Wasu, Korea during the Korean War in 1952. He spent time at Tulsa VA Hospital in Oklahoma (L&O: "Over Here"). Her sister lives in Queens (L&O: "Whiplash").
  • She attempted three times to have Mike Logan reassigned to her precinct after he was sent to Staten Island. All were unsuccessful, and Logan was eventually assigned to the Major Case Squad (CI: "Stress Position"; "Diamond Dogs").
  • Some of her detectives often addressed her affectionately by two shortened versions of her rank: "L.T." (commonly used by Rey Curtis, Cyrus Lupo and Kevin Bernard) and "Lieu" (commonly used by Lennie Briscoe and Ed Green).
  • In Season 20, she begins dating Frank Gibson. Their engagement is announced in the last episode.

AppearancesEdit


Icon L&O Law & Order - Main Characters
Law

Senior Detectives: Max GreeveyPhil CerretaLennie BriscoeJoe FontanaEd GreenCyrus Lupo

Junior Detectives: Mike LoganRey CurtisEd GreenNick FalcoNina CassadyCyrus LupoKevin Bernard

Commanding Officers: Captain Donald Cragen • Lieutenant Anita Van Buren

Order

Executive Assistant District Attorneys: Benjamin StoneJack McCoyMichael Cutter

Assistant District Attorneys: Paul RobinetteClaire KincaidJamie RossAbbie CarmichaelSerena SoutherlynAlexandra BorgiaConnie Rubirosa

District Attorneys: Adam SchiffNora LewinArthur BranchJack McCoy

Others

Elizabeth OlivetAlfred Wentworth

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