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Simon & Schuster Won’t Distribute Book by Cop Involved in Breonna Taylor’s Death but That’s Not the End of This Conversation

A group of protesters gather in the street in a march to the Breonna Taylor memorial

Just hours after the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported that one of the cops involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor had landed a book deal, Simon & Schuster said they were as surprised by its existence as anyone and that they would not be participating in its distribution.

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s book, titled, The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy, was picked up by Post Hill Press, a small conservative and “Christian” publishing house that is distributed by Simon & Schuster.

“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 be involved in the distribution of this book,” the company wrote on Twitter.

That’s absolutely the right decision but as far as I can tell, Mattingly still has the book deal with Post Hill, just no distributor as of yet. And that’s absolutely despicable.

HuffPost lays it out:

Mattingly is the same man who, along with his colleagues, fired more than two dozen bullets into Taylor’s apartment while she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep; the same man who sued Walker, alleging that Walker’s actions caused him “severe trauma, mental anguish and emotional distress” after Walker witnessed his girlfriend bleed to death and then was taken away in handcuffs; the same man who, after Taylor died from at least six bullet wounds, wrote an email saying, “We did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”

A spokesperson for Post Hill told the New York Times, “In the case of Sgt Mattingly, the mainstream media narrative has been entirely one-sided related to this story and we feel that he deserves to have his account of the tragic events heard publicly, as well,” although that quote no longer appear in the Times’ article on the subject.

It is true that much of the mainstream media has focused its coverage on the needless, racist atrocity of Taylor’s killing, the anger over how long her death was ignored by the police and by that same media, and the fact that these officers still have not been indicted. I don’t know what other side to this story Mattingly thinks needs to be told but there is no way it’s anything worth reading.

All of this also brings up the question of why Simon & Schuster is doing business with Post Hill in the first place. A quick scan through their roster makes it clear that Mattingly is far from the only problematic author on their client list.

They published Matt Gaetz’s book, although that was before he was outed as an alleged sexual predator and was just a run-of-the-mill doofus and general threat to American society.

There’s a book on Hunter Biden’s laptop, one calling Dr. Anthony Fauci “the most powerful and dangerous bureaucrat in American history,” and Dan Bongino’s book about the “deep state’s” attempts to take down Donald Trump.

They also have an entire imprint for Black writers “whose nonconforming views are seldom represented in mainstream media, and find themselves increasingly unwelcome at the larger publishing houses,” which very clearly means Black conservatives writing about how racism is over and Black activists are overreacting. It’s called Emancipation Books.

So why is Simon & Schuster partnered with them? Yes, publishing is a business but a business is still supposed to operate by a set of ethics. And S&S has claimed in the past to be an ethical company.

Remember this?

They don’t just get to post a tweet about standing with and supporting Black communities and then also continue to do business with a company that is working so hard to actively harm them.

(image: Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.