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


    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).

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