Florida police used a dead guy's finger to try and unlock his phone

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Following a man’s death, authorities in Florida went to a funeral home where his body was being kept and used the man’s finger in an attempt to unlock his cellphone as part of their investigation.

The Associated Press reports that 30-year-old Linus Phillip was killed by a Largo police officer last month. Authorities say Phillip attempted to drive away before an officer could search his vehicle, leading to the shooting and Phillip’s eventual death.



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.

According to the AP, for the most part, legal experts agree that what the officers did was in their legal right. Some, however, question whether it was appropriate or not.



Charles Rose, a professor at Stetson University College of Law, told the Tampa Bay Times that deceased individuals aren’t able to assert their Fourth Amendment protections because the deceased can't legally own property. But, Rose added, those rights could apply to whoever inherits the property.

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