(Lt. Van Buren)
Lt. Van Buren came to homicide from the narcotics bureau and is relentless in her pursuit of suspects. As the officer who must oversee all homicide investigations, Van Buren faces many pressures. She is an African American woman in a predominately white/male profession who has attained the respect of her detectives and of the D.A.'s office, but often struggles for recognition from her own supervisors. At the end of the day, Van Buren is a tough and demanding cop who possess the instincts and experience to extract accurate conclusions from the the detailed investigations of her detectives.
Though it may be hard to believe while watching her portrayal of the
tough-as-nails Lieutenant Anita Van Buren, Merkerson made her television
debut as "Reba, the Mail Lady" on the Saturday morning series, Peewee's
Playhouse. On stage, this versatile actress has received The Drama Desk
Award, a Helen Hayes Award, the L.A. Theater Critics Award, an Obbie Award
and a Tony for her outstanding work. Her film credits include
Terminator II, Jacob's Ladder, Navy Seals and Loose
Cannons. She will also appear in the independent film, The Rising
Place, and in the new Showtime miniseries It's a Girl Thing.
Merkerson joined the cast of Law & Order in 1993.