Miami detectives attempted to use a dead suspect’s fingerprint to unlock his phone

A pair of Florida police detectives attempted to use a suspect's finger to unlock his phone after he was killed by police officers last month, reports the Tampa Bay Times (via Gizmodo)

Linus F. Phillip was killed in late March by agents Matthew Steiner and Prentice Ables after he was arrested because of the car's polarized windows, according to Tampa Bay Times. He was killed when the two officers tried to arrest him after smelling marijuana in the car, and tried to walk away while an officer was caught halfway to the vehicle. The officer fired his gun at Phillip, who crashed and was later pronounced dead.

Shortly after Phillip's death, Lagos's detectives went to the Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home in Clearwater, Florida, where the body was located. They tried and could not unlock their phone in the course of a separate drug investigation involving Phillip.

Victoria Armstrong, Phillip's fiancée, told him Times that she "felt so disrespected and raped," but Lago police spokesman Lt. Randall Chaney said the detectives did not need a search warrant, an evaluation backed by several legal experts, who said it was "macabre," but that constitutional protections against searches do not apply to the deceased.

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