Kentucky police training program quoted Hitler, advocated ‘regular employment of violence’

Hitler's ideas were mentioned several times throughout the document.

Training materials from The Kentucky State Police have come under fire for the promotion of violence and their embrace of both Adolf Hitler and Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

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A student newspaper broke the news that the Kentucky state police were using a slide show that contained quotes from the Nazi leader to train its cadets. The Washington Post reports that a student newspaper, Manual RedEye, run by Louisville’s duPont Manual High School discovered the 33-page slide show after a local lawyer gave them the documents they obtained to use for a lawsuit against Kentucky State Police.

“We will collect all the facts and take immediate corrective action,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said after the story was published Friday. He said he first heard about the report on social media.

The news comes after Louisville police have been criticized for the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, the unarmed young woman shot by police officers in her home during a botched ‘no-knock’ raid.

One of the slides entitled ‘Violence of Action’ includes a line from Hitler’s anti-Semitic manifesto, “Mein Kampf,” that reads, “The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence. ” The slide also said, “Be a loving father, spouse, and friend as well as the ruthless killer.”

A slide from a KSP training manual (Manual RedEye)

The training materials seemingly support a warrior-style police training which encourages officers to be aggressive and to use force, per the source.

Several pages in the slide show also include lines like, “A warrior must possess certain traits, protect certain things and have the courage to do both at all costs.”

Hitler is quoted three times, according to the report.

The slide show also quotes Lee, statues of whom have been the subject of removal efforts around the country.

“Private and public life are subject to the same rules; truth and manliness will carry you through the world much better than policy, or tact, or expediency, or any other word that was ever devised to conceal a deviation from a straight line,” the Lee quote reads.

Morgan Hall, communications director for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet was quoted in the Manual RedEye story as saying that the training manuals made reference to were outdated and hadn’t been in use by the state police since 2013.

“It is unacceptable that this material was ever included in the training of law enforcement,” Hall said. “Our administration does not condone the use of this material.”

(Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

The Anti-Defamation League is now getting involved.

“It is entirely inexcusable for the words of Hitler to be used in training Kentucky State Police,” the Anti-Defamation League said per Twitter. “ADL is actively working in the state to determine what happened and ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

Kentucky congressman Rep. John Yarmuth also tweeted his disgust at the materials.

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“As a Kentuckian, I am angry and embarrassed. And as a Jewish American, I am genuinely disturbed that there are people like this who not only walk among us, but who have been entrusted to keep us safe,” he tweeted. “There needs to be consequences.”

The Kentucky state police assisted Louisville police in quelling protests and prepared a ballistics report in the Taylor case.

“The focus on warriors and combat is deeply problematic. It is exceedingly rare that police officers have to fight for their lives,” Dr. Jack Glaser, a professor who studies police at the University of California Berkeley said in an email to Manual RedEye. “Even if it is sometimes necessary to use serious physical force, starting with a warrior mindset is not necessary and can make violent conflict more likely.”

According to a Washington Post database, KSP has killed 16 people since 2018, the most of any law enforcement outfit in the state. None of the fatal shootings were recorded on police body cameras.

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