John Mattingly, officer shot in raid that killed Breonna Taylor, releases book

“12 Seconds in the Dark” is the title of John Mattingly’s book, a reference to the moments that changed Mattingly’s life and ended Taylor’s.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 10:17 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 1:26 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department officer who was shot during the raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment has released a book about his experience.

“12 Seconds in the Dark” is the title of John Mattingly’s book, a reference to the moments that changed Mattingly’s life and ended Taylor’s.

Mattingly, who retired from LMPD after the March 2020 raid, takes readers on a journey from his early days as a police officer to living in hiding amid threats in less than 150 pages.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: The Breonna Taylor case

He thanks those who saved his life in a chapter titled My Guardian Angels and Room 9, from the officers who stopped the bleeding and loaded him into the trunk of a car to the hospital staff who took over from there.

Mattingly also maintains in the book that the officers made an announcement before entering Taylor’s apartment.

He is unapologetic about his feelings toward Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who shot Mattingly the moment he crossed the threshold.

“This man almost took my life,” Mattingly wrote, “and was responsible for Breonna Taylor’s death in my opinion.”

Walker was initially charged with attempting to murder a police officer after shooting Mattingly, but the charge was later dropped. Mattingly and Walker are now embroiled in a civil battle.

Following the explanation of the shooting, the book focuses on the aftermath.

Mattingly, who has shared similar sentiments about Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, criticizes his handling of the investigation in the public’s eye. He accuses Fischer of failing to provide answers to the public about what happened. According to Mattingly, this allowed misinformation about the case to spread, resulting in months of protests and violent riots across Louisville.

Politicians aren’t the only ones he criticizes; he also criticizes the media for misrepresenting facts and engaging in biased reporting.

Then there are the hashtags.

Mattingly describes his experience in the book as being told through the lens of social media and retold by celebrities who, he claims, “had it all wrong.” Oprah Winfrey, Snoop Dogg, LeBron James, Jennifer Lawrence, George Clooney, and Beyonce are among the celebrities he mentions.

Mattingly also wrote about being afraid for his life because of the number of threats he received. He claims that despite details and informants, the FBI turned a blind eye to a murder for hire plot because of the “optics” of who might have been behind the plot.

Amy Hess, whom Mattingly specifically mentions in the book, was the public safety director for the City of Louisville at the time. She told WAVE News in a statement that she had asked other agencies to join the investigation into murder-for-hire.

“After being briefed on the alleged murder-for-hire plot in the Summer of 2020 and recognizing the potential conflict of interest for the LMPD, I recommended the FBI or another law enforcement agency look into the matter and assess the credibility of the information,” Hess wrote. “I have absolutely no doubt the resulting investigation — which did not substantiate the allegations — was conducted objectively, thoroughly, and independently.”

Kenneth Walker and LMPD declined to comment on Mattingly’s book.

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