Jonathan Mattingly, one of the Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor in her home, is intent on publishing his account of “what really happened that night,” despite pulling out of his book deal.
The book, The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy, was supposed to come out this fall, with Post Hill Press, a conservative publishing house distributed by Simon & Schuster. But following a sizable backlash (as anyone could have foreseen), Simon & Schuster swiftly distanced itself from the deal, announcing that it would not be distributing the book if Post Hill Press moved forward with publication.
Now, months after Simon & Schuster’s decision, Mattingly has dropped his deal with Post Hill Press altogether, according to the Guardian. Nonetheless, Mattingly says he intends to do “whatever [he] can to make sure the true story is told.”
In a recent op-ed published by the right-wing website American Thinker, Mattingly wrote:
“My side of the story is completely different from what you’ve heard from the media. They want you to believe that I and my fellow officers are evil racists who barged into that apartment and killed Breonna while she slept. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, and I learned pretty quickly that the media and our local government officials want to make sure you never learn the truth about what happened that night.”
Mattingly went on to say that while he was grateful to Post Hill for “courageously” agreeing to publish The Fight for Truth, he’s decided that it would be best for him to “explore other publishing options” for the book. Post Hill Press publisher Anthony Ziccardi wished him well in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
Far from being silenced or censored, Mattingly’s narrative ultimately won out—if not in the court of public opinion then in actual court. In September, a grand jury declined to bring any charges against Mattingly, who shot six times through Taylor’s apartment. At the time, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron stated that Mattingly, as well as his colleague Myles Cosgrove—who also escaped charges—“were justified in their use of force.”
Taylor may have millions of people willing to take to the streets and rewrite this narrative, but it’s not the same thing as her being alive and telling her story for herself. But Mattingly, I’m sure, will find a way to tell his.