Kentucky Governor Condemns Use of Hitler Quote in Police Training Slideshow, Will Take 'Corrective Action'

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear released a statement condemning the use of a quote from Adolf Hitler in a state police training slide. He indicated that "corrective action" would be taken.

The slide was discovered by students in a journalism program, after filing an open records request with the Kentucky State Police and reported in the Manual Redeye, along with the complete presentation.

In a statement obtained by Newsweek, Beshear called for changes to be made.

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

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth also tweeted his anger about the slideshow presentation in a the statement.

And don’t give us the “it’s a few bad apples” excuse. This is a poisonous culture that has gotten too many innocent people harassed and killed, and we refuse to stand for it any longer.

— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) October 30, 2020

In a statement obtained by Newsweek, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet communications director Morgan Hall echoed Beshear and said the materials had been removed from training materials in 2013 and was not currently in use. Hall's statement can be found below:

It is unacceptable that this material was ever included in the training of law enforcement. Our administration does not condone the use of this material. The material is not currently a part of any training materials and was removed in 2013. Upon learning of this matter yesterday, the cabinet immediately began an internal review. The cabinet will continue to collect information and take corrective action, as well as inform the public.

The lengthy slideshow titled "The Warrior Mindset" featured quotes from various historical figures such as Albert Einstein, or fictional characters like Batman's Bruce Wayne. The slide that reportedly had the Hitler quote from his book Mein Kampf is titled "Violence of Action": "The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence."

Local outlet The Courier Journal reported, citing the Redeye, that Lt. Curt Hall taught the "warrior mentality" training to cadets at the state police's academy, according to a recent deposition. Hall was an assistant commander at the academy from 2005 to 2015. He was also commander of internal affairs and retired recently.

The slide also has bullet points that speak about being "able to match violence with greater violence" and being able to "be the loving father, spouse, and friend as well as the ruthless killer."

The Courier Journal also noted that another slide had the phrase "Über Alles" on it, which is a phrase often associated with Nazis.

In a statement to the Manual Redeye, a Kentucky State Police spokesperson said he wasn't sure how often the presentation was used. "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," the spokesperson wrote.

The Anti-Defamation League tweeted that the use of a Hitler quote was "inexcusable" and is working to prevent a similar incident from occurring.

It is entirely inexcusable for the words of Hitler to be used in training Kentucky State Police. ADL is actively working in the state to determine what happened and ensure it doesn't happen again.

— ADL (@ADL) October 30, 2020

The Kentucky State Police did not respond to Newsweek's emailed requests for comment in time for publication.

Journalism students recently uncovered controversial training materials by Kentucky State Police, which contained a quote from Hitler. Ina FASSBENDER / AFP/Getty