USCalifornia governor signs bill striking down law that made it a crime to refuse police officer's request for help
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill on Tuesday striking down a dated law that made it a crime to refuse a police officer's request for help.
The law Newsom struck down Tuesday dated back to 1872 and made it a misdemeanor for any "able-bodied person 18 years of age or older" to refuse a police officer's call for assistance in making an arrest,.
The California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872 was used in the country's early days, notably as a means of enforcement to help catch runaway slaves.
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The bill Newsom signed into law is sponsored by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D), who called the outdated requirement "a vestige of a bygone era" that subjects citizens to "an untenable moral dilemma."
Hertzberg's bill was opposed by the California State Sheriff's Association, which argued that "there are situations in which a peace officer might look to private persons for assistance in matters of emergency or risks to public safety and we are unconvinced that this statute should be repealed."
Newsom did not issue a statement when signing the bill into law.
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