Kentucky police commissioner resigns after report on training slideshow with Hitler quotes

The Kentucky State police commissioner resigned from his position Monday after a report surfaced that the department used a training slideshow that included quotes from Adolf Hitler, officials said. Rodney Brewer’s resignation will go into effect on Wednesday.

Governor Andy Beshear has selected Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Burnett to serve as acting commissioner, according to Morgan Hall, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. “As of today, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet continues to work diligently to swiftly and thoroughly conduct an internal review of all training materials and will provide information as it becomes available,” Hall said in a statement to CBS News. 

Kentucky Police Academy used a training slideshow as recently as 2013 that advocated for violence during alterations and instructed cadets to be “ruthless in their actions.” The news of the slideshow was first reported by journalists at the Manual Red Eye, the student publication for duPont Manual High School in Louisville.

Titled “The Warrior Mindset,” the training slideshow used quotes from historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, J.R.R Tolkien, and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. A slide captioned “Violence of Action,” included a quote from Adolf Hitler’s notorious manifesto “Mein Kampf,” which said, “The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.” 

According to the Manual Red Eye report, Hitler is the most quoted historical figure in the entire presentation, which also encourages cadets to have “a mindset void of emotion” and to “meet violence with greater violence.” One slide reads, “Be the loving father, spouse, and friend as well as the ruthless killer.”

Beshear on Monday condemned the slideshow. “This is absolutely unacceptable,” Beshear in a statement to CBS News. “It is further unacceptable that I just learned about this through social media. We will collect all the facts and take immediate corrective action.”

Prior to his resignation, Brewer served as the commissioner for 10 months after he was appointed by Beshear in January. He has held several positions with the state police department for over 33 years. 

Caitlin O’Kane contributed to this report.

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