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Family claims police used dead man’s finger to access information on his cellphone

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Image source: TheBlaze

The family of a Florida man killed by police are saying that police tried to use their dead loved one's finger to unlock his phone, according to WFTS-TV.

What are the details behind his death?

Police shot and killed Linus Phillip, 30, on March 23 after stopping him for illegally tinted windows at a Largo gas station.

According to WFST, police said they smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle after approaching it.

Phillip reportedly tried to flee at that point and purportedly dragged Officer Matthew Steiner, who attempted to get into Phillip's car.

On Friday, Largo police said that Phillip — who was not armed — attempted to use his vehicle as a deadly weapon, and Steiner feared for his life.

WFST reported that Steiner, while hurt, will recover from his injuries.

Phillip, according to WFST, had a criminal past.

What is Phillip's family alleging now?

Phillip's family said that after his body was released to a local funeral home, two police officers used the dead man's finger to unlock his mobile phone.

Phillip's girlfriend, Victoria Armstrong, said that the idea is "disgusting."

"So they are allowed to pull him out of the refrigerator and use a dead man's finger to get to his phone," she told WFST.

Armstrong, who has a son with Phillip, said that law enforcement is "slandering his name."

"My son is no longer going to go have a father, or to make his dad proud," she said. "He's not here anymore because of this and the police are slandering his name like some awful person. We are fighting to find out what happened."

Martha Hicks, Phillip's mother, wept when she spoke to WFST.

"They killed him after his 30th birthday," she said. "Oh God he turned 30 on March 11."

"It's too much too much, we just want to know what happened," she added.

John Trevena, the family's lawyer, reportedly wants surveillance camera from the gas station where the incident occurred, but the store reportedly has said that the incident was not caught on tape, according to police.

"There was no denial of the video to the family so this is the first I've heard of that," Trevena said.

 

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