The dead man’s pin code
This story is pretty gross. Victoria Armstrong, a dead man’s fiancée, was left feeling disrespected and violated after Florida detectives tried to use his finger to unlock his cell phone. Linus Phillips was shot and killed by a police officer after he allegedly tried to drive away before an officer could search him. The two detectives then tasked with investigating the police shooting turned up at the funeral home were Phillips’ body was being kept and held up his finger to the phone’s fingerprint sensor. It didn’t work.
Despite Armstrong’s protestations, legal experts claim that the behavior of the detectives was likely legal and above board. Dead people aren’t entitled to their fourth amendment rights, which protect, “their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This, of course, is regarding trying to access the phone rather than using his dead finger to do so. On this, the person who inherits the phone could have a defense in court.
Mostly, however, this is a tragic story that includes a grossly insensitive act. We’d love to know what you think of how the detectives acted in the comments below.
Apple is yet to comment on why the man’s finger wouldn’t unlock his phone.