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GV Police Okay With Repealing Obscure Law

A 147-year-old state law that’s even obscure to local law enforcement is no longer on the books. Governor Newsom has signed a bill we told you about early this year that no longer makes it a crime to refuse an officer’s request for help in making an arrest. Grass Valley Police Captain Steve Johnson says it’s never been a concern around here…

click to listen to Capt Johnson

Able-bodied citizens, 18 and older, could be charged with a misdemeanor for refusing to help, under the law, which was passed in 1872…

click to listen to Capt Johnson

But Johnson says he believes local residents will likely help any officer they see in distress, without being asked. The bill’s author, State Senator Bob Hertzberg of Los Angeles, calls the old law, quote, “a vestige of a bygone era that subjects citizens to an untenable moral dilemma”, unquote. It was opposed by the California State Sheriff’s Association, which says they’re unconvinced a repeal was necessary.

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