Citizens In California Can Refuse To Help Officers In Distress Through New Bill



Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed a bill that allows citizens to refuse assistance to law enforcement officers in distress who require aid during arrests.

Newsom struck down the The California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872 that gave misdemeanor penalties for any “able bodied” individual over 18-years-old that declined to help an officer in distress. Residents in the Golden State can now walk away from an officer in need and face no penalty, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Fallen  Ventura Country sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus

Democratic California State Sen. Bob Hertzberg called the 1872 law a “a vestige of a bygone era.” He also added that the act puts citizens in a “moral dilemma.”

Law enforcement groups oppose Newsom’s decision. (RELATED: California Gov. Calls Semi-Auto Rifles ‘Goddamn Weapons Of Mass Destruction’)

“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for assistance in matters of emergency or risks to public safety and we are unconvinced that this statute should be repealed,” The California State Sheriff’s Association said in a statement. 

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