Police officer who shot Breonna Taylor has pulled out of book deal

One of the police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor has pulled out of his book deal with a conservative press four months after Simon & Schuster refused to distribute the title.

Jonathan Mattingly is one of the Louisville, Kentucky officers who shot Taylor in the raid in her home in March 2020, and was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker. A grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police last September for the killing.

Mattingly signed a book deal in April with small conservative publisher Post Hill Press to release The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy. Post Hill is distributed by Simon & Schuster, and after widespread criticism, the publishing giant announced that it would not be distributing Mattingly’s book. Company president Jonathan Karp later said the decision was “responsive to the concerns we heard from you and our authors”.

Now Mattingly has said that he will no longer publish the title with Post Hill, writing in a blogpost for conservative site American Thinker that “I know I must do whatever I can to make sure the true story is told”.

“Earlier this year, my friends at Post Hill Press courageously agreed to publish my book giving an account of what really happened that night. But before we could even begin, their distributor … publicly declared their refusal to distribute my book – without even reading the manuscript,” wrote Mattingly, in a post first reported by the Louisville Courier Journal. Mattingly accused “the media, celebrities, sports figures, attorneys, and politicians” of spreading “blatant lies about the situation without any accountability”, adding that while he was “grateful to my friends” at Post Hill, “I have decided it is best that I explore other publishing options for my book”.

Post Hill Press publisher Anthony Ziccardi told the Wall Street Journal that after the press had informed Mattingly that it couldn’t distribute the book without Simon & Schuster, “he thought it was best to find another publisher who could fully distribute the book. We wish him success.”

Mattingly compared himself to the US senator Josh Hawley, whose book was dropped by Simon & Schuster after his role in the Capitol riots, saying he was “not the first person to be cancelled by the publishing industry for going against the ‘woke’ narrative”. Hawley subsequently found a new home for his title with the conservative press Regnery.

“Whether you’re a United States senator or a cop from Louisville, the left doesn’t want your story to be told if you stand in its way,” wrote Mattingly.

He did not reveal whether a new publisher has picked up his book.

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