South Carolina Law Requires Bystanders to Help Police Making Arrest

If suspect is resisting arrest, bystanders must assist if police ask

SOUTH CAROLINA - A scene from A & E’s show, Live PD, riveting the nation.

This all happening in our backyard in Columbia, SC.

The intense clip shows 22-year-old Bryan Martin leading deputies on a high-speed chase before his car flips over.

Surprisingly, Martin gets out of the car with his two-year-old daughter and begins to scuffle with the only deputy on scene. We learned today the baby girl’s arm was broken.

All of this happened as a group of bystanders watched, some even recorded the scene on their phones, not assisting the deputy.

We asked people in Rock Hill what they would do if this happened in front of them.

“I would’ve tried to help out but I would’ve tried more to get the youngin’ the kid out the way.”

“I would’ve helped him out because it would be the right thing to do, if it was a civilian I would do the same thing.”

All of these people would be doing the right thing if the deputy asked for assistance.

State law says officers can call out for help from bystanders if suspects are resisting an arrest.

“I really wouldn’t help him because I don’t know what’s going on and it really isn’t my place to help him.”

This young man was shocked to learn if he refused to help an officer, he could face some serious consequences.

Section 23-15-70 of the SC Code of Laws states any person refusing to assist the officer could be charged with a misdemeanor, fined $30 to $100 or imprisoned 30 days in jail.

Below is the entire code:

SECTION 23-15-70 - Call out for assistance or posse comitatus; penalty for refusing to assist

Any sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or other officer specially empowered may call out the bystanders or posse comitatus of the proper county to his assistance whenever he is resisted or has reasonable grounds to suspect and believe that such assistance will be necessary in the service or execution of process in any criminal case and any deputy sheriff may call out such posse comitatus to assist in enforcing the laws and in arresting violators or suspected violators thereof. Any person refusing to assist as one of the posse comitatus in the service or execution of such process, when required by the sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or other officer shall be liable to be indicted therefor and upon conviction shall be fined and imprisoned, at the discretion of the court any person who shall fail to respond and render assistance when summoned by a deputy sheriff to assist in enforcing the laws and in arresting violators or suspected violators thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction shall be fined not less than thirty nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned for thirty days.

© 2018 WCNC.COM


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