- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey lawmaker said Wednesday she will introduce a bill to remove local prosecutors from cases involving a death caused by a police officer.

Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver said her proposal calls for the state attorney general to take charge in such cases.

The idea comes after cases in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City in which prosecutors failed to win indictments of officers in the deaths of unarmed black citizens.

“These high-profile cases are sensitive enough without local communities having to wonder whether the collaborative relationship between the local prosecutor’s office and local law enforcement gives rise to a conflict of interest that would influence the proceedings,” Oliver said in a statement.

Oliver said the bill removes the appearance of a conflict of interest because of the often-times close relationships between police and prosecutors.

New Jersey has introduced other legislation since the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, but none of measures has yet become law.

The Senate passed a bill unanimously in December that establishes a 17-member advisory panel to make recommendations on body cameras for police to the governor and Legislature.

The bill is awaiting consideration in the Assembly.

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