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NAACP SLO County hosts education series aimed at knowing your rights during police encounters

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Courtesy: NAACP SLO County
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The mission of the NAACP is to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination.

The local San Luis Obispo County branch of the NAACP is hosting a virtual series aimed at helping people know their rights during encounters with law enforcement.

The Know Your Rights Series is divided into four parts with the upcoming third session focusing on Criminal Justice.

It’s meant to be a discussion for anyone in the local community about understanding and acting on your rights as a community member.

The mission of the NAACP is to secure political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination.

Local NAACP President Reverend Stephen Vines said this knowledge is useful for anyone who comes into contact with law enforcement, especially people of color.

“When it comes to the law and dealing with people of color, we’re the highest [number] of people being incarcerated and caught up in that system,” Vines said.

Vines said criminal defense attorneys will lead discussions on a variety of legal topics including search rights, Miranda rights, rights to an attorney and things like DUI and juvenile issues.

Vines said he will personally speak about the impacts of legislation and the relationship between local police departments and the NAACP.

“We have a program that we ask all the police chiefs to sign on to as far as having certain values and principles,” Vines said.

Vines said members of law enforcement will not be participating in this particular series.

He said this program is just one part of addressing what he feels is an oppressive criminal justice system. He said the NAACP is also focused on tackling injustices within the prison and education systems as well as focusing on mental health across communities.

The upcoming session will be held via Zoom July 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can find the Zoom link to participate here.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.