Kentucky State Police 'Warrior Mindset' Training Presentation Quotes Robert E. Lee, Adolph Hitler

from the I-guess-if-you-want-to-associate-yourself-with-LOSING-warriors... dept

Law enforcement training is sketchy stuff. We didn't get to where we are today without telling a blend of do-gooders and bullies that it's the public who's wrong and the blue line warriors who are right. The "us vs. them" mindset seems to have accelerated in recent years, urged on by overheated rhetoric about criminals outgunning the cops (despite historically-low crime rates) and the federal government's willingness to tart up local gendarmes with war gear at zero cost.

The training tends to tell officers every kill is a good kill -- one that will be rewarded with some pretty awesome sex, if nothing else. It also tells them every person is a latent threat, one that should be responded to with whatever use of force the officer feels necessary. To trainers, the general public is, at best, a nuisance. At worst, it's an anarchic force of unpredictable evil. If the officer wants to make it home every night, it's better safe than sorry.

Now, let's turn to the world of journalism. The internet has equalized everything, giving independent journalists the same potential power as long-established journalistic concerns. Anyone can "break" a story, using little more than a social media account and some public records. This shift of power was recently demonstrated by two teens writing for the Manual Redeye, the paper of record for Dupont (KY) Manual High School. The two authors are a combined 30 years of age.

Manual students Satchel Wilson and Cooper Walton obtained training documents from the Kentucky State Police via a public records request by attorney David Ward, who is involved in a lawsuit over state troopers' killing of Bradley Grant in 2018. Ward requested information about the training received by one trooper involved in the shooting and received a truly disturbing presentation in return.

It opens with some really fucked up bullet points before heading into even darker territory. The first few slides list the presentation's "objectives," which include "list the qualities that make up a good value system during combat and the "warrior's chosen path." It's titled "The Warrior Mindset."

By the presentation's fifth slide, the presenter/compiler has decided to start quoting some pretty questionable "leaders," starting with Confederate general Robert E. Lee. It appears under the amazingly wrongheaded title "The Thin Gray Line."

As the two teens report, the presentation moves on from a Confederacy figurehead to the Big Bad himself.

One slide, titled “Violence of Action,” in addition to imploring officers to be “ruthless killer[s],” instructs troopers to have “a mindset void of emotion” and to “meet violence with greater violence.”

A line from Adolf Hitler’s fascist and anti-Semitic manifesto, Mein Kampf, is featured in the slide: “the very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.”

The presentation also links to a Hitler page on Goodreads, a database of quotes and books.

Two other slides quoting Hitler bring his total to three, making him the most quoted person in the presentation.

As if that hadn't solidified the "warrior" embrace of mass-murdering authoritarians enough, the presentation ends with "über alles," a phrase commonly associated with the Third Reich and its hideous ideals of nationalism and white supremacy.

Cue damage control. Kentucky law enforcement officials issued a series of statements, each one more revised than the last. The first attempted to distance the Kentucky State Police from its training presentation, stating it was created by an instructor at the academy and apparently not condoned by the agency that allowed this training to be given. The next said this particular Hitler-quoting training hadn't been used since 2013, as though that made anything better.

Other state officials were far less absolutionary in their statements. Governor Andy Beshear called it "unacceptable." So did the Communications Director for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet -- the law enforcement body that first claimed the presentation had not been used since 2013.

As the report points out, the Kentucky State Police kill more people in the state than any other law enforcement agency. And when these shootings occur, there's usually only one narrative -- one delivered by the "warriors."

Since 2018, KSP troopers have committed at least 16 fatal shootings according to a Washington Post database of police shootings, the most of any police force in the state. Troopers were not wearing body cameras during any of the shootings.

If law enforcement officers don't want to be viewed as violent and racist, perhaps they shouldn't partake in training that quotes violent racists. And congratulations to these two high school students and their scoop, which has dumped a whole lot of sunlight into the murky world of law enforcement training.

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Filed Under: adolf hitler, kentucky, police, police brutality, robert e. lee, training, warrior mindset


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  • icon
    Thad (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 10:05am

    Typo in the headline: Hitler's first name was Adolf, with an F.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 10:36am

    Looks like they're practiced at shooting lots of things...

    ... including their own assertiob.

    The first attempted to distance the Kentucky State Police from its training presentation, stating it was created by an instructor at the academy and apparently not condoned by the agency that allowed this training to be given. The next said this particular Hitler-quoting training hadn't been used since 2013, as though that made anything better.

    'The agency didn't condone the training in question... we still used it, but we didn't condone it.'

    Yeah, they really did not think that one through, though I imagine they were just a little panicked after a pair of teens got their hands on the polices' 'Here's Hitler's views on killing' training manual.

    You do not 'accidentally' create and use a training manual quoting gorram Hitler and encouraging police to always amp up violence and deadly force, so the fact that that was ever in use is all sorts of damning for the kentucky police, and from the sounds of it even if they're no longer quoting Hitler in their training manuals they haven't gotten any better on the killing front.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Nov 2020 @ 5:59am

      Re: Looks like they're practiced at shooting lots of things...

      "You do not 'accidentally' create and use a training manual quoting gorram Hitler and encouraging police to always amp up violence and deadly force..."

      Apparently you do, in the US. They're not quoting Hitler. They're quoting "modern conservative values".
      You know...those values whose moderation on social platforms make out the "anti-conservative bias" the alt-right keeps screaming about.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2020 @ 11:16am

    For info, 'uber alles' may have Nazi overtones in the US but it is used in the first line of the German national anthem - "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles". It is really saying Germany is best - as do a lot of national anthems...

    The rest of the piece is horrific and, in a US context the uber alles part is quite scary. However, to a European, it does not have the same effect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wyrm (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 11:41am

      Re:

      "Uber alles" might be ok when taken out of this specific context.
      But quoted at the end of a presentation that also quotes Hitler several times, this is definitely not innocent.
      It's not a problem of "US context", though this probably does invoke the Nazi Germany for many american. The problem is that it is explicitly tied to Hitler here.
      And apparently the cops who attended the training didn't mind. Which is a bigger problem that the "Uber alles" at the end. Even if you don't know the quote is from Hitler, quotes like "the very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence" should be suspicious by themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Nov 2020 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      "However, to a European, it does not have the same effect."

      It does if you don't speak german that well. To a german the literal translation of "Above all..." is, in itself, not offrensive.

      But even in Germany there's context to consider.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 5 Nov 2020 @ 11:25am

    On the one hand you have a top notch, well-trained military general (the Union's first choice to lead the Union armies) talking about military action during war. Nothing wrong with that.

    The other is simply a madman killer talking about murdering anyone he doesn't like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 12:06pm

      Re:

      On the one hand you have a top notch, well-trained military general (the Union's first choice to lead the Union armies) talking about military action during war. Nothing wrong with that.

      More everything wrong with that, because police are not, and should not consider themselves, soldiers in a war for a plethora of reasons from the significant difference in mindset to how they conduct themselves.

      If a cop wants to play at being a soldier they can enlist and go be one, if they're going to wear the uniform of a law enforcement member then they'd better act like one(ideally one from a country where the cops aren't such wanton killers).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2020 @ 2:22pm

        Re: Re:

        It rather depends on how the quote is presented, the context it is used in. There's a world of difference between:

        "While normally you should try to build trust and cooperation with the citizenry, there are really bad people out there. If you find yourself in conflict with some, here are some useful things to know and bear in mind..."

        and:

        "If you want to survive and succeed in your job, here is how you should approach everyone you meet..."

        Though I must admit I suspect it was more like the latter than the former in this case.

        Either way, given the events of the second world war, Hitler should only ever be used to exemplify the worst in humanity, and usually not even then.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Nov 2020 @ 6:05am

      Re:

      "On the one hand you have a top notch, well-trained military general (the Union's first choice to lead the Union armies) talking about military action during war. Nothing wrong with that."

      Not if the advice meant for soldiers is used to motivate, you know, soldiers.

      It's as horrifyingly wrong when used to motivate law enforcement officers as it would be for a butcher to advise a surgeon.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2020 @ 11:39am

    The Kerbal Space Program is out of control.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 5 Nov 2020 @ 12:14pm

    It's a Trump wet dream to have officers trained this way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2020 @ 12:23pm

    " the general public is, at best, a nuisance"

    Good to know, next time one sees an officer in need of assistance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2020 @ 12:38pm

      Re:

      This is actually one of the issues in many neighborhoods in America. The police come in with an attitude of the populace being a problem that needs policing and then wonder why the neighborhood won't come to their aid with help or information.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 12:55pm

        Police officers trained to have a “warrior mindset” don’t see the populace as “the populace” — they see “potential enemy combatants” in a “war zone” and act accordingly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Samuel Abram (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 1:13pm

          Re:

          Which is extremely interesting considering that actual troops in an actual war have rules of engagement as well as accountability for war crimes.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 1:18pm

            Re: Re:

            or rather, actual troops in an actual war can be accountable to military justice and many seem to face punishment if they commit crimes. The Police? Extremely rare if an officer is punished for killing someone without just cause.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Nov 2020 @ 7:33am

            Re: Re:

            "Which is extremely interesting considering that actual troops in an actual war have rules of engagement as well as accountability for war crimes."

            There have been numerous military personnel reacting with varying degrees of shock, horror and disgust when confronting US police "warrior" training.

            The military is taught how to act and behave to de-escalate and present a confident yet unthreatening presence while moving through civilians in hostile citizenry. The US police have been trained to employ, as default, behavior US troops are told never to use when actively under hostile fire.

            Even the 2A crowd - or at least those of them actually taking firearms safely - know damn well that a pistol out of its holster or a rifle aimed at a person bears the message "negotiation over. Kill or die".

            US police are being taught to provoke murder, and the message is brought to them with quotes taken from Mein Kampf.

            There's a lot to unpack there; To begin with it's pretty obvious the trainer who put together that "warrior mindset" training is a bona fide nazi. Especially if he actually provides links to Mein Kampf for those who want to know more.

            Secondly, though...how come it had to be a pair of teenage high school reporters who discovered this, given that this "manual" had been around for at least 7 years and up until now no one had muttered a complaint?

            It's trite to just say that Kentucky State has some explaining to do. They've literally been caught with Nazi propaganda being part of their official training material.
            I'd say this alone declares every member of their current force who took that class and didn't speak up unfit to do their job.

            Do what corporations do; Sack the lot of them and let them re-apply for their position after extensive evaluation.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 5 Nov 2020 @ 1:29pm

        'You don't care about my life why would I care about yours?'

        That's why the mindset is so incredibly stupid and dangerous for the police, if you treat the public as the enemy it's only a matter of time until they return the favor, and if the public doesn't have any reason to believe that the police give a damn about them then members of the public aren't likely to care about what happens to the police or offer any help should a cop need it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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