(LEX 18) — Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer resigned amid controversy over old state police training materials that referenced Nazi Germany and included quotes from Adolf Hitler. And now, we've met one of the two student journalists who broke the story.
They are brothers, 16-year-old Satchel Walton and 14-year-old Cooper Walton, of Louisville. They attend DuPont Manual High School and write for The Manual Redeye, an online school news publication.
The brothers revealed a 2013 training PowerPoint for Kentucky State Police recruits titled: "The Warrior Mindset." In it, training materials that quote Adolf Hitler and Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
"My initial reaction on seeing it ... I couldn't believe it that someone would quote Hitler," said Satchel Walton during a Thursday Zoom interview.
The brothers uncovered the old training slideshows after learning of a lawsuit filed on behalf of Bradley Grant. His family's attorney claims the Harlan County man was shot and killed by a KSP detective in 2018 after Grant didn't comply with the troopers' orders.
Attorney David Ward, who is suing the detective and a trooper, claims Grant had the shotgun pointed at his chin and was no threat to the officers. Ward said he believes the "warrior training mindset" in the KSP slideshows he obtained for his court case led to Grant's unjustified killing.
Satchel and Cooper Walton dug into the court files and were shocked by what they saw.
One of the slides titled "Violence of Action" implored officers to be "ruthless killer" and to "meet violence with greater violence" and have a "mindset void of emotion."
"I understand there are sometimes situations in which police officers need to shoot people when they're in imminent danger," said Walton. "But that is not what I'm getting from this slideshow."
A Kentucky State Police lieutenant sent an email saying the 2013 training material is no longer used, but the quotes were used for their content and relevance when they were. He stated the presentation touched on service, selflessness, and moral guidance.