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'This has nothing to do with politics': Bowling Green chapter of NAACP launches investigation into incident at local restaurant

J. Tyler Franklin

The Bowling Green-Warren County branch of the NAACP has launched an investigation into the ongoing controversy surrounding former Louisville Metro Police officer Jonathan Mattingly, a Republican Women’s Club, and Anna’s Greek restaurant in Bowling Green.

Earlier this month, Mattingly and gubernatorial candidate Ryan Quarles were invited to speak at a Republican Women’s Club of South-Central Kentucky meeting at the Bowling Green Country Club.

Mattingly is one of the three Louisville police officers involved in the 2020 raid that killed Breonna Taylor. No one was criminally charged for her death.

The event sparked widespread backlash leading Quarles, who is one of 12 Republicans vying to unseat Governor Andy Beshear, to pull out of the function “due to the controversial nature of another speaker at this event.”

The Bowling Green Country Club pulled out of the meeting shortly after.

The Republican Women’s Club of South-Central Kentucky then moved the event to Anna’s Greek restaurant where Mattingly spoke about the night Taylor was killed during regular business hours.

Some patrons of the restaurant claim they could hear audio of Jonathan Mattingly’s presentation that included video taken during the aftermath of the raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment.

There is no police body cam footage of Taylor’s death, but there is video of the scene after she was shot.

The owner of Anna’s has commented publicly on the incident. In a statement, Anna’s claims that they were “unaware of the content to be presented to the Republican Women’s Club of South Central Kentucky. We have now recognized the need to be exceedingly diligent in reviewing any content to be presented when blending restaurant patrons with private events.”

WKU Public Radio attempts to reach the owner of Anna’s were unsuccessful.

Jonathan Mattingly also issued a statement via twitter.

Ryan Dearbone, president of the Bowling Green-Warren County chapter of the NAACP, says the investigation into the event is not political. “This is not about politics and some people will say this is about politics because they are a Republican Women’s club. This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with human decency with moral objectivity.”

Click the listen button at the top of this article to listen to a conversation with Ryan Dearbone about the controversy and the investigation.

Former student intern Alana Watson rejoined WKU Public Radio in August 2020 as the Ohio Valley ReSource economics reporter. She transitioned to the station's All Things Considered Host in July of 2020 and became the student reporting and producing specialist in 2023. Watson has a B.A. in Broadcasting Journalism for Western Kentucky University and a M.A in Communications from Austin Peay State University. She is a Nashville native and has interned at WPLN-FM in Nashville. Watson was also a 2nd Century Fellow for Wisconsin Public Radio before rejoining WKU Public Radio. She has received numerous awards for her reporting.
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