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'Repugnant' Kentucky State Police training included Hitler's guidance on violence

By Karla Ward, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in News & Features

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear and others reacted with outrage Friday after learning Kentucky State Police training materials used quotes from Adolf Hitler and advised trainees to become "the ruthless killer."

The story was initially reported by two student journalists at duPont Manual High School in Louisville and published online by the school's newspaper, the Manual RedEye.

The presentation used in the past was immediately denounced by some for emphasizing violence from police rather than minimizing force and reducing conflict.

The slideshow titled "The Warrior Mindset" includes a quote from Hitler's Mein Kampf: "The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence."

"It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge," states another quote attributed to Hitler in the PowerPoint presentation, which the student newspaper posted online.

The slideshow ends with the words "Uber Alles," which Merriam-Webster defines as "above everything else." The phrase is part of an old version of the German national anthem associated with the Nazis.

 

"This is absolutely unacceptable. It is further unacceptable that I just learned about this through social media," Beshear said in a statement Friday night. "We will collect all the facts and take immediate corrective action."

A spokeswoman for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, which includes the state police, said "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," Morgan Hall, spokeswoman for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, said in a statement. "Our administration does not condone the use of this material."

State police spokesman Lt. Joshua Lawson said in a statement to the duPont Manual students: "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."

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