The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police wants more people to know about the person it just named officer of the year, but it is running into an issue with a social media giant.
The association wrote a Facebook post detailing East Peoria Patrolman Jeffrey Bieber’s life-threatening encounter with a domestic violence suspect in February.
Beiber was stabbed multiple times after the suspect pulled out a knife. Bieber tried Tasering the suspect with no luck before he fired four shots at the suspect, fatally wounding him.
"What happened with this officer was textbook of what we want from an officer before they use deadly force, and the community should be applauding and we want the community to know we’re doing our part as professionals to do things in a proper way," said Hazel Crest Police Chief Mitchell Davis, who is currently serving as president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
But when the association attempted to pay to have the post boosted to reach a wider audience, it was denied by Facebook.
"We appealed that denial and they sent us back a response saying our post dealt with politics and a volatile subject that could be viewed to have political innuendos,” Davis said.
Davis said the post had nothing to do about politics.
A spokesperson for Facebook told NBC 5 the company requires advertisers to complete an ad authorizations process and create “Paid for by” disclaimers to run social, issue and political ads.
"We have reached out directly to the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police to explain how to run this type of ad," the spokesperson said.
Davis said the association supports Facebook’s policies against inappropriate content but said the application of the policy, in this case, deserves another look.
Meanwhile, Bieber is back on the job.
"It’s been a long hurdle," Bieber said. "All I could focus on this entire time is getting back to work, returning to a normal life and that’s been my primary focus, mentally, physically."