One of the police officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor will publish a book about the event and its aftermath. Post Hill Press has agreed to publish Seargeant Jonathan Mattingly’s book after Simon & Schuster pulled out of the deal.
The publishing giant declined to publish The Fight For Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy, issuing a statement late on Thursday 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.”
A spokesperson for Post Hill Press told The Associated Press that they support the free speech rights of their writers and that Sgt Mattingly “deserves to have his account of the tragic events heard publicly”.
Sgt Mattingly sustained a gunshot wound after Ms Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired his weapon after Sgt Mattingly and two other officers used a battering ram to force their way into their home while executing a no-knock warrant.
The officers started firing into the apartment. Sgt Mattingly fired six rounds into the apartment after being shot, hitting Ms Taylor. The FBI concluded that Officer Myles Cosgrove fired the bullet that killed her, The Louisville Courier-Journal reported.
Her death spurred on months of racial justice protests also motivated by the death of George Floyd.
Post Hill Press says on its website that they focus on “pop culture, business, self-help, health, current events, Christian, and conservative political books”.
The decision to publish the book was excoriated by critics.
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives Attica Scott tweeted: “Stay focused, y’all. People love to profit off of Black pain and tragedy. It sells.”
Pastor Bruce Williams added: “Racists and white supremacists will always find a way to profit from Black bodies. This disgusting attempt to rewrite events to invent a lie he can live with is abhorrent. He’s a criminal who should be in jail.”
Mr Walker was charged for shooting Sgt Mattingly. He has said he didn’t know that it was police at the door when he discharged his weapon. Sgt Mattingly claims he knocked and made their presence clear. The charges against Mr Walked have since been dismissed but both he and Sgt Mattingly have civil suits pending against one another.
Ms Taylor was 26 years old and died in the hallway of her apartment in Louisville after being shot six times.
While Sgt Mattingly was not indicted, three anonymous members of the grand jury later said they wished they could have recommended charges against more police officers.
Both officer Cosgrove and officer Brett Hankison, who also fired his gun, were fired after the death of Ms Taylor, while Sgt Mattingly remains on the job.
Mr Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for bullets that went into another apartment. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin on 31 August.
The Independent has reached out to the Louisville Metro Police Department for comment.