One of the police officers who fired his gun during Breonna Taylor‘s killing may need to find a new way to capitalize on her death after a major publishing house dealt a huge blow to the disgraced cop’s plans to write a book about the deadly episode in Lousiville last year.
Simon & Schuster said it wants nothing to do with Jonathan Mattingly‘s upcoming book, “The Fight For Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy.” While the book is still expected to be published by a Tennessee-based publisher, Simon & Schuster will not distribute it, the company announced Thursday night, about 12 hours after the news broke reporting Mattingly’s planned book.
“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 retweeted late Thursday night. “We have subsequently decided not [to] be involved in the distribution of this book.”
It is unclear how much money Mattingly is being paid to write the book.
Mattingly, 48, was the officer who was struck by gunfire from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who said he shot at the door suspecting a burglar because he was unaware it was the police trying to break into her home with a no-knock warrant. Walker is a legal gun owner.
Mattingly in October filed a lawsuit against Walker, who was initially arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer. Those charges were permanently dropped last month.
Walker filed a $10.5 million suit against the city of Louisville, citing police misconduct. Mattingly’s countersuit, meanwhile, claims that Walker’s actions were “outrageous, intolerable and offends all accepted standards of decency or morality.”
That is the position of the person planning to write the book in question.
Mattingly was able to keep his job with the help of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who never gave a grand jury any options to bring criminal charges for Taylor’s death. Instead, three other officers were fired, including Brett Hankison, who is facing charges of wanton endangerment for “blindly” firing 10 rounds that Cameron said threatened the lives of Taylor’s neighbor, not Taylor herself.
Activists convened in Lousiville last month to commemorate the anniversary of Taylor’s killing and demanded the district attorney who initially recused himself from the case to open a new criminal investigation into the police officers involved in the shooting.
Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine, who previously recused himself from the case under the guise of a purported conflict of interest, is the one who referred the investigation to Cameron. But since charges were dropped against Walker, activists say that Wine — a Democrat — no longer has that conflict of interest preventing him from seeking justice for Taylor’s untimely death that resulted from a suspiciously obtained and botched no-knock warrant in search of a suspect who was already in police custody in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020.
Wine, however, has refused to act, citing yet another conflict of interest. He suggested his hands were tied because the case was still being investigated by federal authorities.
“It continues in the hands of both independent investigators and prosecutors, those of the FBI and the United States Department of Justice,” Wine said last month. “Violations of federal civil rights under color of law, resulting in the death of an individual, carry the same, if not greater, criminal penalties than those provided under Kentucky law.”
Wine added: “The Office of Commonwealth’s Attorney does not plan to present this matter to another grand jury as long as there is a pending federal investigation. To do so would create a risk of inconsistent results and recommendations and potentially hinder rather than advance justice in this case.”
Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, said in an interview with NBC News that she wouldn’t stop fighting for justice for her daughter’s killing.
“Nobody has been held accountable, and that’s the problem,” Palmer said.