A Kentucky official in charge of training 911 dispatchers used a Nazi ‘black sun’ symbol lifted from an anti-Semitic video and included it in instructional material for first responders, according to a state probe.
The investigation by the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet found that the instructor, Jeromy ‘Chad’ Burkhart, used six minutes of a 33-minute video that accused Jews of being behind the heroin trade.
The probe by Inspector General Maryellen Mynear found that Burkhart and other employees at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training did not intend to include a Nazi symbol and were unaware of its meaning.
The department ‘took swift action’ in response to the training video and required its instructors to undergo four hours of education on which material was appropriate for use, a government spokesperson said.
The image above shows a ‘sonnenrad’ – or ‘black sun’ – symbol that is often used by neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups. The image was seen in a training video given to 911 dispatchers and first responders in Kentucky, according to a report
The Nazi symbol was seen in a six-minute training video offered up by the Department of Criminal Justice Training. An investigation by a state inspector general found that the DOCJT lifted the image from a longer, 33-minute YouTube clip posted by a white supremacist group
A man wearing a shirt that bears the logo of Nationalist Social Club, a group considered by the Anti-Defamation League to be a neo-Nazi organization, holds a sign with a sonnenrad symbol on it during a pro-police demonstration in Boston in June 2020
There is no word on whether Burkhart, who earns $44,789 a year, or anyone else at the DOCJT was punished. DailyMail.com has reached out to the department for comment.
Mynear’s report was obtained by the Lexington Herald Leader.
The existence of the training video and its ‘derogatory references to Jews’ was first revealed in November by Manual RedEye, a student newspaper at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville.
In November, Manual RedEye reported that it unearthed a six-minute training video created by the DOCJT which included a segment taken from a different clip accusing Jews of causing the opioid crisis.
The anti-Semitic content, which was not used in the training video, also included suggestions that Las Vegas casinos are ‘run by Jewish gangsters’ and that Jews are ‘endlessly glorified’ by Hollywood ‘among other mind-control agendas working hand-in-hand with the US government.’
The clip used in the DOCJT training video shows a logo of the company that made the original anti-Semitic video, Renegade Films.
The logo depicts a ‘sonnenrad’ – or ‘Black Sun’ – which is a symbol that has become popular with white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
During the Nazi period in Germany, the ‘sonnenrad’ appeared as a floor mosaic in a castle used to train members of the SS.
The part of the video lifted by DOCJT and taken from Renegade Films is titled ‘America’s Manufactured Opioid Crisis: The Hidden History of Heroin Pushers.’
The documentary-style video is laced with anti-Semitic tropes and false claims about Jewish conspiracies, though those are not included in the DOCJT instructional video.
‘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,’ according to the film.
Burkhart told the inspector general’s office that he did not include those segments about Jewish gangsters because he ‘did not believe it was “relevant”.’
At the same time, however, Burkhart ‘did not recognize the disparaging nature of this commentary,’ according to Mynear’s report.
The DOCJT contacted the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the ADL to schedule virtual training for a course called ‘Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust.’
According to the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, the trainings will ‘provide an opportunity to reflect upon their roles, responsibilities and challenges of policing in a democratic society.’
According to Mynear, Burkhart ‘was upset to realize the significance of the black sun after its inclusion in the training materials.’
But he also failed to ‘verify the legitimacy’ of source material he used for the training video or to ask for permission from a private company to use their content, Mynear wrote.
Kentucky Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer stepped down in November days after a report surfaced that an Adolf Hitler quote was used in one of the organization’s training slideshows. Officials did not say if his resignation is explicitly linked to the scandal
‘Upon his DOCJT employment, Burkhart completed a 40-hour training course required for his training instructor position. He opined that it needed to be longer and should include more detail on how to locate and research the validity of resources,” Mynear wrote.
The inspector general also found that almost a dozen people at the DOCJT reviewed Burkhart’s training video, among them his immediate supervisor, Duane Bowling.
None of them, however, bothered to watch the 33-minute Renegade Films video or investigate the source material used by Burkhart, according to the office.
‘Bowling admitted he knew from the lesson plan that this video was found on YouTube, and he did not ask whether, or how, Burkhart verified the accuracy of the information or the source,’ Mynear wrote.
This was the second time in recent months that RedEye published a story about problematic content in training videos shown to Kentucky state officials.
Earlier in November, the head of the Kentucky State Police, Rodney Brewer, resigned after it was learned that an Adolf Hitler quote was used in one of the organization’s training slideshows.
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who appointed Brewer to the top post, did not specifically say whether Brewer’s resignation was in direct connection to the problematic slideshow – which has not been used while he was serving in the top police position.
According to an investigation by RedEye, the quotation was included in a presentation called ‘The Warrior Mindset’ shown to new recruits prior to 2014.
The Kentucky State Police are under fire after it was revealed they featured an Adolf Hitler quote in one of their training slideshows. The slideshow has not been used since 2013
According to an investigation by Manual Red Eye, the quotation was included in a presentation called ‘The Warrior Mindset’, which was shown to new recruits prior to 2014
The quote comes from Hitler’s anti-Semitic 1925 political manifesto Mein Kampf, and states: ‘The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence’.
It was included in a slide titled ‘Violence of Action’, which also implores officers to ‘Be the loving father, spouse, and friend as well as the ruthless killer’.
The 33-page slideshow also features quotes from a variety of other well-known historical figures, including Confederate General Robert Lee.
Quotations from The Bible and fictional characters, such as Batman, also appear.
The quote comes from Hitler’s anti-Semitic 1925 political manifesto Mein Kampf, and states: ‘The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence’
The troubling inclusion of Hitler’s quote was uncovered by a local attorney who requested the Kentucky State Police (KSP) hand over materials used to train a detective involved in a police shooting.
KSP spokesperson Joshua Lawson told Manual Red Eye he ‘didn’t know’ how many times the slideshow was used.
Morgan Hall says the slideshow has not been shown to officers for at least seven years.
She said in a statement: ‘It is unacceptable that this material was ever included in the training of law enforcement. Our administration does not condone the use of this material.
‘The material is not currently a part of any training materials and was removed in 2013.’
Beshear denounced the slideshow, saying: ‘This is absolutely unacceptable. It is further unacceptable that I just learned about this through social media. We will collect all the facts and take immediate corrective action.’
Congressman John Yarmuth, who represents Kentucky’s 3rd District, took to Twitter blasting: ‘I am angry. As a Kentuckian, I am angry and embarrassed. And as a Jewish American, I am genuinely disturbed that there are people like this who not only walk among us, but who have been entrusted to keep us safe. There needs to be consequences.’
As of 2017, the Kentucky State Police employed 866 troopers stationed at 16 different posts across the state
He added: ‘And don’t give us the “it’s a few bad apples” excuse. This is a poisonous culture that has gotten too many innocent people harassed and killed, and we refuse to stand for it any longer.’
The revelation about the quote comes as police departments across the country are under fire for explicit and implicit racial bias following the May shooting death of George Floyd.