KOAT-TV.com - SANTA FE, N.M. —A new bill discussed by the Court, Corrections, and Justice Committee at the state capitol last week is turning some heads. The bill, which hasn't been officially filed, would make the attorney general of New Mexico prosecute charges against police officers instead of local or area district attorneys.
The bill was spearheaded by Albuquerque City Councilor Diane Gibson. Gibson reached out to state Rep. Gail Chasey (D) to help form and draft the bill some weeks ago. Chasey and Gibson share a precinct together.
Since 2010, Albuquerque police have been involved with 27 fatal shootings. While some have produced civil settlements by the city, no officer has been indicted or charged. So far the bill is only four pages, and would put the attorney general in charge of prosecuting any state law enforcement officer charged with a violent felony, assault against a household member, abuse of a child or any crime for which registration under the sex offender registration and notification act is required.
Opponents of the bill feel the attorney general’s office doesn't have the resources to prosecute such crimes. However, supporters disagree and feel not many officers are either prosecuted or investigated for criminal offenses statewide, producing a manageable caseload. More