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UPDATED 4/16, 12:45 p.m. ET: Following widespread backlash to the announcement that Post Hill Press would publish a book written by an officer involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, Simon & Schuster announced it will no longer provide distribution.
Simon & Schuster distributes books by writers published by Post Hill, but the company will not do so for Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly's book. Post Hill Press has not yet commented on the decision by S&S.
“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,” Simon & Schuster wrote in a statement on Twitter. “We have subsequently decided not to be involved in the distribution of this book.”
See original story below.
An officer who was involved in Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting is reportedly writing a book about the incident.
According to the Courier-Journal, Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly has landed a book deal with Post Hill Press—a Tennessee-based publisher that focuses on Christian and conservative works, as well as areas of pop culture, business, and self-help. The outlet reportedly learned of the deal earlier this week, when Mattingly contacted its newsroom about using one of its photos from a protest back in May.
Post Hill Press senior publicist Devon Brown confirmed Thursday that the book—titled The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy—will be published sometime in the fall. Simon & Schuster is expected to distribute the work.
Shortly after midnight on March 13, 2020, Sgt. Mattingly and two other LMPD officers executed a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment in Louisville. The 26-year-old EMT and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed sleeping at the time authorities stormed the home. Officers allegedly failed to identify themselves upon entering the apartment, leading Walker to believe they were burglars. Walker, who was a licensed gun carrier, fired a single shot toward officers Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison. A shootout ensued, and Taylor was shot six times. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators determined it was Cosgrove who fired the shot that killed Taylor.
Mattingly was wounded during the incident, and later sued Walker for his actions on the night of the raid. The officer accused of Walker firing the shot that hit him in the leg, resulting in “severe trauma, mental anguish, and emotional distress.” Walker’s attorney, Steve Romines, described the suit as a “baseless attempt to further victimize and harass Kenny.”
Immediately after Mattingly’s book deal was confirmed, people took to Twitter to express their outrage. Many called on Post Hill Press to squash the deal, while others urged Simon & Schuster to end its distribution deal with the publisher. You can read some of the reactions below.