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

Victoria Armstrong, Phillip's fiancée, said Times that "she felt so disrespected and violated," but Largo police lieutenant Randall Chaney says the detectives did not need a warrant registration, an evaluation supported by several legal experts, who said it was "macabre," but that constitutional protections against searches do not apply to the deceased.

Update, April 22, 2018, 6:40 PM : A previous licensee identified the detectives as coming from Miami and was corrected.

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