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Family of man killed by Largo police said officers used dead man's finger to gain access to phone

Posted: 9:11 PM, Mar 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-29 12:25:20-04

LARGO, Fla. — The family of Linus Phillip, a man killed by a Largo Police officer on Friday, is accusing detectives of using the dead man's finger to gain access to his cell phone.

The family is also demanding video from the incident at the WaWa gas station in Clearwater where he was killed.

RELATED | Largo Police investigating deadly officer-involved shooting

Police tell ABC Action News that the gas station cameras did not capture the encounter.

They family does not believe it. 

Phillip's mother Martha Hicks started crying during an interview on Wednesday.

"They killed him after his 30th birthday. Oh god he turned 30 on March 11," sobbed Hicks. "It's too much too much we just want to know what happened."

Police say the vehicle he was driving had illegally tinted windows, which is why they approached him. While standing near Phillip's car, the officers say they smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. 

Police said he tried taking off and even dragged the officer, Matthew Steiner who had tried to get in the car.  

Phillip's longtime girlfriend Victoria Armstrong says he did nothing wrong. 

The couple has two children together. Their young daughter lost her battle with leukemia last year.

Their son, Isaac is 16 months old.

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

Police told Action News video from the WaWa did not capture the encounter only officers giving Phillip CPR.

The family lawyer, John Trevena was surprised.

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

In another bombshell, the family claimed that detectives used their loved ones' dead finger to access his phone at the Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home.

"So they are allowed to pull him out of the refrigerator and use a dead mans finger to get to his phone. Its disgusting," said Armstrong.

Largo police said they not commenting further because it is still an active investigation.

On Friday, Largo Police said Phillip used his car as a deadly weapon and the officer feared for his life. 

He did not have a gun in his possession.

The officer is a seven year veteran with no disciplinary action against him.

He was injured but is ok.

Phillip does have a past criminal history.