SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is moving to eliminate what state legislators call an outdated Wild West law requiring that citizens help police upon demand.

Lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a measure eliminating the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872.

The nearly 150-year-old law makes it a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 for failing to help police make an arrest or catch a fleeing suspect.

Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys says his interns initially proposed eliminating a law that he says “belongs in the history books, not the law books.”

Democratic Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove of Los Angeles says it was also used to help apprehend runaway slaves.

She calls it “a visage of a bygone era” now that California has plenty of professionals to catch criminals.

  1. John Holtzen says:

    Apparently Democratic Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove is a product of the California public school system. She’s been fully indoctrinated to use every opportunity to relate anything she can to slavery and racism, and is obviously ignorant of history. This law was never in any way related to apprehension of runaway slaves. This law was passed in 1872. Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865.

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