Know Your Rights Event in Rocky Mount, NC

The Three C's When Approached by Police

Know Your Rights Rocky Mount, NCMembers of the Rocky Mount Police Department referred to them as the three Cs, and they are important to remember when approached by an officer: be courteous, cooperative and compliant.

Local law enforcement officials gave helpful advice such as this at a “Know Your Rights” forum in Rocky Mount---an event that captured the attention of The Los Angeles Times  and The News and Observer . Both newspapers featured articles on the forum, emphasizing that Rocky Mount was being proactive to continually foster good relations between the citizens and the police.

What Happened at the "Know Your Rights" Meeting in Rocky Mount

The Know Your Rights meeting focused on providing local citizens with solid accurate information about police procedure and policies—in contrast to a lot of the misinformation seen on television. Community events like this are one way to make the city less dangerous and lower crime by fostering positive relationships between the police and community citizens.  The event was made possible through the Edgecombe and Nash counties’ sheriff’s offices and the Rocky Mount Human Relations Commission.

There have been three Know Your Rights events in Rocky Mount, the most recent of which was October 21.  Community Services Supervisor Yvette Jones was quoted in the Rocky Mount Telegram, summarizing the importance of the Know Your Rights events:

“We want citizens to know what they have the right to do and what they don’t have the right to do. We want them to know it is best to cooperate if they are arrested and what the procedure is if they have complaints.”

Police and Sheriff’s deputies gave these useful pieces of advice and educational facts:

  • Never interfere with the arrest of someone, and do not incite onlookers. 
  • If arrested, be mindful of what you are saying to officers. What you are saying could hinder your case.
  • The police’s policy is to handcuff those who have been arrested. This is for the officer’s safety. 
  • Do not resist arrest.
  • If the police pull you over for a traffic stop, do not make any sudden moves. These moves can be misinterpreted , especially if the incident happens at night.
  • If arrested, you are allowed to make telephone calls – and despite what you see in the movies, you can make more than one phone call. While you are allowed to call until you are able to reach someone, realize that you will be charged for the phone calls.
  • An officer cannot search without probable cause. If the officer has a search warrant, what he or she is looking for will be mentioned in the warrant. 
  • The Fifth Amendment only applies if you are actually arrested. The Fifth Amendment means you are not required to answer questions that may incriminate you. However, if you have not been arrested, you should answer the officer’s questions.
  • The general public is allowed to film an arrest, however, they must do so in a way that does not interfere with the arrest.

 Following are some video highlights of one of the events:


To find out more about upcoming Know Your Rights events, you can check out the Rocky Mount area’s community calendar at Reach Out Rocky Mount. 


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