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Police in Florida Attempt to Unlock Smartphone Using Dead Man’s Finger

Police in Florida Attempt to Unlock Smartphone Using Dead Man’s Finger

Florida police reportedly attempted to unlock a dead man’s smartphone using his cold dead fingerprint.


Linus F. Phillip died in March; according to the Tampa Bay Times, he was shot by police while attempting to flee a Wawa gas station in Largo, Fla. A WFLA account of the incident stated that the officer fired the fatal shots while Phillip was attempting to drag him with his car. 

Not long after the incident, police went to the funeral home where Phillip’s body had been taken and attempted to unlock the dead man’s smartphone by using the corpse’s finger. Their attempts failed.

Police were hoping to obtain data related to their investigation into Phillip’s death, as well as a separate inquiry into drugs.”

None of the reports related to the unlocking attempts reveal what brand and model the smartphone is. While Apple’s iPhone is perhaps the best known smartphone using fingerprint-unlocking technology (Touch ID), other devices do offer similar security, such as models in Google’s Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy lineups.

Phillip’s family is unhappy with the police department’s attempt to unlock the deceased’s smartphone using the man’s fingerprint. Fiancé Victoria Armstrong told the newspaper that she “just felt so disrespected and violated.” Armstrong was at the funeral home when police arrived.


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