(CNN) California Governor Gavin Newsom did away Wednesday with a law that made it a crime to refuse to help a police officer.
The law dates back nearly 150 years to California's Wild West days, when cowboys and outlaws roamed the state.
The California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872 made it a misdemeanor for "an able-bodied person 18 years of age or older" to refuse a request for assistance from a police officer "in making an arrest, retaking into custody a person who has escaped from arrest or imprisonment, or preventing a breach of the peace or the commission of any criminal offense."
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It was widely used by authorities to legally form posses to hunt outlaws.