Q: Do federal courts set precedent for how police officer can act in a constitutional manner?
For example, Miranda v. Arizona which was decided by the Supreme Court mandates that suspects have to be read their rights to an attorney and to remain silent, but would a similar case decided by a lower federal court (district or circuit court) have an impact on how police officers should act in their circuit/district in the same way that Miranda v. Arizona does?
A: Yes, a district court's decision sets precedent for police department and can result in the change of police procedure. Two recent examples - ban of gravity knives unconstitutional (SDNY) and stop and frisk unconstitutional (SDNY). Both were district court decisions that resulted in changes to NYPD. Hope this helps.
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