Publishing giant Simon & Schuster has announced it will not distribute the book written by one of the police officers who fired shots during the fatal Breonna Taylor raid last year. The book, written by Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly of the Louisville Police Department, is being published by Tennessee-based Post Hill Press, which specializes in “pop culture, business, self-help, health, current events, Christian, and conservative political books,” according to its website.
To be clear, Simon & Schuster was never the publisher or editor of Mattingly’s book. Often large publishing houses have existing deals with independent publishers to distribute their books across shops and retailers. The Courier-Journal of Louisville was the first to report on the book and the distribution deal, which drew widespread outrage on social media.
Stay focused, y’all. People love to profit off of Black pain and tragedy. It sells.https://t.co/cpa4nbjUNC
— Attica Scott (@atticascott4ky) April 15, 2021
It was then that Simon & Schuster announced it would not distribute the book. A statement the publishing giant tweeted read: “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.”
— Simon & Schuster (@simonschuster) April 16, 2021
Mattingly was the first officer who went into 26-year-old Breonna Taylor’s apartment on March 13, 2020, in a botched raid stemming from a narcotics investigation. Mattingly was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend. The officer then fired one of the six return shots that hit Taylor herself. Taylor died from the wounds she sustained in the shooting. The FBI later determined that Mattingly did not fire the lethal shot, according to The New York Times.
A spokesperson for Post Hill Press said, “in the case of Sergeant 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. Post Hill Press is standing behind our decision to publish his story.”
Simon & Schuster recently also decided to cancel the publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s book after the events of the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. We’ve reached out to Post Hill Press for additional comment and will update this post if we hear back.