Training materials for Kentucky State Police cadets once included quotes attributed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. A slide show instructed the future troopers to be warriors who “always fight to the death” and to be a “ruthless killer.”
This information came to light through two student journalists at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville and appeared online in the school’s newspaper, The Manual RedEye, on Friday (October 30).
News about the training slides brought condemnation.
“My full response on the KSP training slides: This is disgusting. I certainly hope this powerpoint does not reflect the current training for KSP or any law enforcement officer entity. The tone and tenor are overtly white, Christian, male, warlike and adversarial,” tweeted Louisville Urban League President Sadiqa Reynolds.
This revelation about how officers are trained could add fuel to the fire surrounding the killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker, in her home by Louisville Metro Police Department officers during a botched raid on her apartment.
One slide, titled “Violence of Action” directs troopers to have “a mindset void of emotion” and to “meet violence with greater violence.”
Kentucky State Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joshua Lawson emailed this statement to the student newspaper: “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.”
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear condemned the training material.
“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,” Beshear said in a statement on Friday (October 30).