Florida detectives used dead man's finger in attempt to unlock phone

Linus F. Phillip was killed on March 23. Two detectives held the man’s hands up to the phone’s fingerprint sensor but could not unlock

In what appears to be an unprecedented case, Florida police went to a funeral home and tried using a dead man's finger to unlock his mobile phone.

Before police could search Phillip, he jumped back in the auto and tried to drive away while an officer was still partly in the vehicle, according to the police account. Taking the hand of a dead man, they were going to unlock your smartphone using fingerprints. The man who was shot dead was Linus F. Phillip where according to Victoria Armstrong, his fiancee, "I just felt so disrespected and violated".

However, according to the Tampa Bay news site, most legal experts agree that what took place was perfectly legal, despite not necessarily being the most appropriate behaviour.

Charles Rose, professor and director of the Centre for Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson University College of Law, said dead people can not assert fourth amendment protections.

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Greg Nojeim, director of the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology agreed.

Chaney told the Tampa Bay Times there is typically a 48 to 72-hour period to open a cellphone that has been locked using a fingerprint. They did not notify his family in advance, nor did they obtain a warrant. The officers involved in the fatal shooting will not be prosecuted, but the Largo police are continuing a controversial post-mortem investigation on Phillip.

They are also demanding video footage from the incident in which Phillip was killed, WFTS-TV reported. Phillip had allegedly driven away from police before they searched him, after an officer allegedly smelled marijuana in his vehicle. He allegedly dragged one of their officers when he tried to drive off, however, Armstrong has argued that her fiancée did nothing wrong to warrant being killed.

"The law has been most cruel, really unforgiving to a dead person", Nwabueze told the Times.


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