In 12 Seconds in the Dark, veteran police officer John Mattingly provides a firsthand account of the Breonna Taylor raid – one of the most controversial incidents in recent American policing history. On March 18, 2012, SWAT officers descended on the home of 19-year-old Breonna Taylor and her two young children, purportedly acting on information that she was storing drugs and firearms there. After storming into the house and tearing it apart, they found nothing incriminating. The ensuing media frenzy cast doubt on both the justification for and motivation behind the raid. Drawing on his own experiences as well as those of other officers involved in planning and executing the raid, Mattingly offers an unvarnished look at what went wrong – from inaccurate intelligence to bad communication to excessive force. He also analyzes how factors such as race (Taylor is black), class (she was raised poor),and gender (the victim was a woman) played into public perceptions about what happened that day. In doing so, he highlights some of America’s most pressing challenges when it comes to crime policy and law enforcement tactics.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for people who are interested in criminology, law enforcement, or sociology.
- The book provides a first-hand account of the Breonna Taylor raid, which is a highly controversial incident in recent American policing history.
- The author, John Mattingly, is a veteran police officer with firsthand knowledge of what went wrong during the raid.
- The book offers an unvarnished look at all aspects of the raid, including its justification, motivation and aftermath.
- The author provides a one-sided account of the raid, without giving voice to Breonna Taylor or her family.
- The book is overly academic and dense, making it difficult for lay readers to follow.
- It offers little in the way of solutions or recommendations for change.
Learn more about the author
John Mattingly is a 29-year veteran of the Louisville Metro Police Department, where he currently serves as an assistant chief. He has also taught criminal justice at Bellarmine University in Kentucky and Spalding University in Louisville.
“An important and compelling book that takes a hard look at an incident that has come to symbolize the problems with America’s criminal justice system.”
“12 Seconds in the Dark is an important book because it offers a seldom seen firsthand account of a police raid. This type of story has been told before, but usually by people who are critical of law enforcement. As a retired cop and military veteran myself, I found Mattingly’s perspective to be refreshing and honest.”
“This is an excellent book that Anyone interested in civil liberties, law enforcement or race relations should read. It provides a rare glimpse into the often unexamined world of police work and reveals the complicated reality behind high-profile cases.”
“12 Seconds in the Dark is an important book. John Mattingly has written a clear-eyed, unvarnished account of what happened on March 18, 2012 during the raid on Breonna Taylor’s home. His police officer’s perspective provides a unique and valuable lens through which to examine one of the most controversial incidents in recent American policing history.”