Kentucky criminal justice trainers used a video featuring an “offensive” Nazi symbol as recently as September, state officials confirmed Monday.

Gov. Andy Beshear and the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on Monday confirmed the existence of a law enforcement training video that featured a white supremacy symbol. It was approved for training use in September.

The video was used by the Department of Criminal Justice Training, which provides training to every law enforcement agency in Kentucky, except for the Kentucky State Police and Lexington, Louisville and Bowling Green police departments. The video is the third recent example of heavily criticized police training content used by state agencies.

The video’s existence was initially reported by the Manual RedEye, the student newspaper at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville. The training video, titled “911 Response to the Drug Epidemic,” was an hour long. It featured a clip taken from another source. That clip included a “Black Sun” Nazi symbol, according to RedEye reporter Satchel Walton.

The “Black Sun” symbol was appropriated by Nazis, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

“The image used at the beginning of the six-minute video clip is offensive and absolutely unacceptable,” Beshear said in a statement. “This image should never have been part of any training video on drug addiction, and once the image was recognized, the video was immediately removed.”

The video clip with the inappropriate symbol was discovered while reviewing material that had been sought in an open records request regarding an in-service training course for telecommunicators, according to Department of Criminal Justice Training Commissioner Nicolai Jilek.

Jilek said Monday that he immediately had the video with the “unacceptable symbol” removed from the training course. “I expect the highest level of standards when creating law enforcement training materials for the commonwealth and this will not be tolerated under my leadership.”

“The public has my utmost commitment … that our agency will provide ethical and proper training to Kentucky’s peace officers and dispatchers,” said Jilek who added that an internal review of all teaching materials had been started at the beginning of November.

Beshear said his office has continued to work with the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on the internal review of the criminal justice training department and Kentucky State Police training materials “to take necessary corrective action.”

The six-minute clip, which included the Nazi symbol, was taken from a longer video. Morgan Hall, a spokeswoman for the justice cabinet, said the Department of Criminal Justice Training was “not able to confirm the website source of the six-minute video clip used during the training because the video was not shown from a website, it was clipped and saved.”

But the student reporters at DuPont Manual said it originated from a 30-minute video made by an anti-semitic company that blamed Jewish people for the opioid crisis.

“While some old-school Italian mafiosos may have had some objections to selling heroin, Jewish gangsters did not. Jews at the time dominated the drug business in New York,” the video says in a portion that wasn’t included in the criminal justice training video, according to the Manual RedEye.

The Department of Criminal Justice Training didn’t immediately respond to questions regarding the employment status of those who made and approved the training.

This is at least the third troubling training material used by Kentucky law enforcement agencies. In October, it was discovered that state police had used a presentation that included quotes from Adolf Hitler and Robert E. Lee and instructed officers in training to be “ruthless killers.” That story was also originally reported by the Manual RedEye.

Beshear confirmed later that an additional troubling training presentation was discovered while the state was conducting the ongoing review of training materials.

“We have not yet been able to determine whether it is a different version, whether it was provided at a different time — we want to make sure we get answers to all of those questions,” Beshear said on Nov. 2.

The initial findings resulted in the resignation of State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer.

Jeremy Chisenhall covers breaking news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and He joined the paper in 2020, and is originally from Erlanger, Ky.

Source Article