Did you know that up until just a few days ago it was actually a crime not to assist a police officer when requested. Last Wednesday Gavin Newsom did away with this 150 year old California law.
California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872 made it a misdemeanor for an “able-bodies person 18 years or older” to refuse the request from a police officer. This included making the arrest, retaking into custody someone who had escaped arrest or imprisonment.
Opponents of Senate Bill 192, which is the name of the bill the repealed the original, say this bill creates the notion that you shouldn’t help law enforcement.
This bill makes me laugh a bit. If the officer is struggling with apprehending a suspect, are they really going to stop and arrest me for not helping? I would think not.
What’s your take on it? Would you jump in to assist an officer if they were unable to make the arrest on their own?