Gov Newsom signs bill, now legal for citizens to refuse police officers’ request for help


Gov. Gavin Newsom just made it legal for anyone in the state of California to refuse to help a police officer requesting assistance.

The California Democrat on Tuesday signed into law a bill that struck down a more than century-old law which required any “able-bodied person 18 years of age or older” to assist a police officer who requested help during an arrest, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Sen. Bob Hertzberg, who sponsored Senate Bill 192, said the old law was “a vestige of a bygone era” that subjected citizens to “an untenable moral dilemma.”

The California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872 was used to help catch runaway slaves and made it a misdemeanor to refuse an officer’s request for assistance. Hertzberg, a Los Angeles Democrat, proposed repealing the law after he asked his staff to “take a look into bills that were still on the books that were antiquated or no longer needed,” his press secretary Katie Hanzlik told The Sacramento Bee back in February.

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