(Compiled by JTA and Manual Red Eye) — A report by Louisville, Kentucky, high school students has drawn national attention to local police training materials that quoted Adolf Hitler admiringly.
Hitler was the most-quoted person in a Kentucky State Police (KSP) training presentation that encouraged officers to be “killers,” according to the report that appeared October 30, 2020 in the Manual Redeye, the student newspaper of Louisville’s DuPont Manual High School. The presentation includes quotes from Mein Kampf and links to Hitler’s page on a social networking site about books, according to the report.
The presentation also includes calls to violence by stating that trainees should “Be the loving father, spouse, and friends as well as ruthless killers.” Following the call to violence is a section educating officers on how they should be perceived by the public. The slide show states “You become hard to kill once your value system is in place.” This quote is then followed by another quote from Adolf Hitler “It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.
The student journalists, brothers Satchel and Cooper Walton, obtained the presentation because they are related to a partner at a law firm that had requested training materials as part of its work in a case related to a 2018 police shooting in Hopkinsville KY, where Bradley J. Grant was shot after refusing to disarm his shot gun while walking toward two State Troopers.
The report swiftly drew widespread attention from national news organizations and clarification from the state that the presentation had not been used since 2013. It also elicited condemnation from Kentucky officials and Jewish leaders.
“I am angry. 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. There needs to be consequences,” posted Rep. John Yarmuth, the Democrat who represents Louisville in Congress. In a second post, Yarmuth said the presentation reflected “a poisonous culture that has gotten too many innocent people harassed and killed.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear also made a statement On November 2nd after discovering the presentation “This is absolutely unacceptable. It is further unacceptable that I just learned about this through social media. We will collect all the facts and take immediate corrective action.”
The presentation quoted both dictators and fictional characters such as BatMan. In a statement emailed to RedEye reporters, KSP spokesperson Lieutenant Joshua Lawson wrote, “The quotes are used for their content and relevance to the topic addressed in the presentation. The presentation touches on several aspects of service, selflessness, and moral guidance. All of these topics go to the fundamentals of law enforcement such as treating everyone equally, service to the public, and being guided by the law.”
Its unclear how long the presentation was used or if it is still in use. However, Communications Director for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, made a statement that the presentation had not been used after 2013.