By Jim Breslo | Fox News
California this week once again sided with criminals over law, order and the police – and not surprisingly, used the race card to do it.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation repealing a law saying able-bodied people must assist law enforcement officers in making an arrest if called on in an emergency. The move was opposed by the California State Sheriffs’ Association, but that didn’t stop California lawmakers intent on further dividing police from the citizenry.
More and more, law enforcement officers in California are not looked at as people there to help and protect us, but rather as an oppressive force to be feared and opposed.
CALIFORNIA’S NEWSOM SIGNS BILL ALLOWING CITIZENS TO REFUSE TO HELP A POLICE OFFICER
The rationale employed for overturning the law is bizarre. Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, said he tasked interns with coming up with old laws that have become antiquated, and this one fit the bill.
It is true that the overturned law is quite old: it was called the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872. But then again, old is not always a bad thing, as the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence prove.
Hertzberg says the old law “belongs in the history books, not the law books.”
But why should it be an antiquated notion that people should be required to help the police in an emergency? Community policing is what we need more than ever in the era of terrorism, mass shootings, opioid addiction and homelessness.
More and more, law enforcement officers in California are not looked at as people there to help and protect us but rather as an oppressive force to be feared and opposed.
Democratic Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove of Los Angeles called the old law something from “a bygone era” now that California has plenty of professionals to catch criminals.
But handing law enforcement over exclusively to professionals is not necessarily the best way to enforce our laws.
And Kamlager-Dove’s argument particularly does not fly in California, where big cities are far behind large cities on the East Coast in terms of officers per capita.
According to the FBI, San Francisco has 27 police officers per 10,000 residents. Los Angeles has 25. San Diego has 14.
In contrast, the FBI reports that Washington, D.C., has 66 police officers per 10,000 residents. Philadelphia has 43. New York City has 42.
Kamlager-Dove further defended the old law’s repeal by noting that these types of laws were used to help apprehend runaway slaves. But California was a free state and the old law was passed seven years after slavery ended with the defeat of the South in the Civil War.
So it’s a safe bet that police in California weren’t asking anyone for help hunting down non-existent runaway slaves in the 1870s and beyond.
The repeal of the old law is consistent with the left’s favorite narrative, which claims that the police are racist and do not enforce the law fairly. Thus, by extension, helping the police is aiding and abetting this racism.
It is the same rationale being used throughout California where state and city officials refuse to assist federal authorities in enforcing U.S. immigration laws, which many Democrats also sees as racist laws.
In California, a person can be arrested, charged with a felony, tried, convicted, serve prison time, and be released back into the community without ever once being questioned about his or her immigration status. This is crazy.
The same rationale is being used to release 54,000 inmates from California prisons serving time for drug offenses. California officials assert that drug enforcement has disproportionately targeted minorities.
In California, if a law disproportionately impacts a particular minority group, the assumption is that the enforcement of that law, or the law itself, must be racially biased. Thus, California’s answer to crime-fighting: simply change or do not enforce our laws.
Jim Breslo is an attorney, host of the Hidden Truth Show and founder of RealKast, a new media company. He was formerly a partner at the international law firm Seyfarth Shaw, defending companies and individuals against alleged civil rights violations.