Old training materials used by Kentucky State Police included quotes from Adolf Hitler and advocated for “ruthless” violence, according to a report from student journalists at Louisville’s duPont Manual High School.
The training materials, which authorities say are no longer used by the agency, came in the form of a slideshow first reported by Satchel Walton and Cooper Walton of ManualRedEye.com. The presentation was obtained through an open records request by attorneys as evidence in a lawsuit against a KSP detective who shot and killed a man in Harlan County in 2018, according to the Manual RedEye report.
One of the slides, titled “Violence of Action,” features a quote from Hitler that says, “The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence,” according to the report. The same slide advocates for the use of violence described as “ruthless without anger” and “a mindset void of emotion.” It also instructs troopers to, “Be the loving father, spouse, and friend as well as the ruthless killer.
Another slide includes a quote from Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the Manual RedEye report shows.
The report prompted outrage from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who said the presentation “is absolutely unacceptable.”
“It is further unacceptable that I just learned about this through social media,” Beshear said in a written statement Friday evening. “We will collect all the facts and take immediate corrective action.”
In a statement to the RedEye reporters, KSP spokesperson Lieutenant Joshua Lawson said, in part, “The quotes are used for their content and relevance to the topic addressed in the presentation,” according to the report.
It’s not clear how many troopers were trained using the slideshow. According to a statement from the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, “The material is not currently a part of any training materials and was removed in 2013.”
“It is unacceptable that this material was ever included in the training of law enforcement,” spokesperson Morgan Hall said in the statement. “Our administration does not condone the use of this material.”