Florida Police Use Dead Man's Finger to Try Unlocking His 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

What do the police in Florida do when they can not unlock a dead man's phone? Is it really OK to use a dead man's finger to access his smartphone because of an ongoing investigation? At the funeral home following the incident, officers held Phillip's finger to the phone's fingerprint sensor, but the effort failed to unlock it.

Linus Phillip was killed by police in Largo, Florida, in March after he attempted to drive away from officers who wanted to search his auto at a gas station because they said they smelled marijuana. The man who was shot dead was Linus F. Phillip where according to Victoria Armstrong, his fiancee, "I just felt so disrespected and violated". He also said that while,"We can't remember having unlocked a phone in that fashion, either at the scene, the Medical Examiner's office, or the funeral home", the detectives did not feel they needed a warrant as the deceased have no right to privacy.

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Police said that they pulled Phillip over to search because his vehicle's windows were illegally tinted, and that they could smell marijuana coming from the auto, according to the station. As it turned out, the detectives were unsuccessful in unlocking the device. "There's a ghoulish component to it that's troubling to most people".

Lt. Randall Chaney said the detectives were trying to access the phone as part of an investigation into Phillips' death and a drug investigation.

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In other words, attempting to use a dead person's fingerprint to unlock a smartphone might be legal now.

Legal experts think that there is no need of a warrant to unlock a smartphone using the fingerprint scanner when the subject is deceased.

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