The book publisher Simon & Schuster has reportedly refused to distribute a book authored by a Louisville police officer who was shot by the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor in the incident in which Taylor was killed in March 2020.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, 48, has written a book titled “The Fight For Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy” to be published by Tennessee-based Post Hill Press, which reportedly has a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish their authors’ books. After Post Hill Press announced the publication of Mattingly’s book on Thursday, Simon & Schuster issued a statement saying:
Like much of the American public, earlier today Simon & Schuster learned of plans by distribution client Post Hill Press to publish a book by Jonathan Mattingly. We have subsequently decided not to be involved in the distribution of this book.
The company announced Thursday night that it would no longer be distributing a book by Jonathan Mattingly, one of the Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor in a raid that ended in the 26-year-old's death last March. https://t.co/td76S1VUKd
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) April 16, 2021
The Courier-Journal noted:
Mattingly fired six rounds during the March 13, 2020, attempted search of Taylor’s apartment, shooting Taylor. He had been shot in the thigh moments earlier by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who later said he thought intruders were breaking in. Mattingly required emergency surgery to repair his severed femoral artery. Another officer on scene, Myles Cosgrove, fired the fatal shot, the FBI concluded. …
A MoveOn.org petition demanding Simon & Schuster cancel the deal generated more than 20,000 signatures, and the social media backlash to news of Mattingly’s book was swift.
In January, Yvette Gentry, Interim Chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department, exonerated Mattingly in the Breonna Taylor incident. In September 2020, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove were justified in their use of force when Taylor was killed; he attested that they announced themselves as police officers before the incident occurred. Cameron noted that Mattingly was the only officer to enter Taylor’s apartment, where he was shot by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Mattingly said in October 2020, “Everybody knows the police knock. When that took place for that long — and they had that much time to think and react and formulate a plan — I don’t know he didn’t hear us. We were talking 20 feet away through a thin metal door. So, my opinion, yes, he heard. But I’m not the end-all, be-all.”
Mattingly slammed Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, saying he had begged the mayor’s office to release evidence or factual information, but the office informed him they didn’t want to “set precedent” for the future.
Mattingly said, “My response to that was, ‘So you’re willing to let the city burn down to not set a precedent for another case?’ A lot of (the) flames that have come up, a lot of this stuff could have been diverted. Now, would people still have a problem with it? Yes. But I think with the truth coming out, then you wouldn’t have as much distrust.”
He added, “I didn’t understand the racial injustices as a kid because my friends were black. Just, it didn’t click to me that there was this, this visceral hate out there. I didn’t know that. So when somebody calls me a racist, I do (find) it offensive.”