With the recent debate of whether Apple should unlock the phones of the San Bernardino shooters, an African-American mother from Baton Rouge, is also facing the same issue, says a recent NPR report.
Barbara Mills’ very pregnant daughter Brittney Mills was murdered last April and her killer has yet to be found.
Mills recalled that April night for NPR. She said 9-year old granddaughter was staying with her that night, but wanted to sleep in her own bed, so Mills took her home to her daughter’s apartment. At around midnight, an emergency worker called Mills and when she rushed to her daughter’s apartment, she saw that it was a crime scene.
“I had no idea what had happened. As a matter of fact, I thought her water had broke. And we were going to deliver a baby,” she said.
Instead Brittney was shot and unresponsive and was later rushed to the hospital where she died and her baby boy died days later. A year later, it’s unknown who shot Brittany and her mother believes that the answer may be found in her daughter’s iPhone, which is still locked.
According to NPR, the data in her daughter’s phone is encrypted and no one can get in without the password. And this is a serious problem because her daughter kept a diary on her phone, other family members confirmed.
While police said Apple turned over her call log and Cloud information, they still cannot see her texts, which may provide information on who came to her house that night. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore told NPR that “[Brittney’s] daughter heard someone knock on the door and heard her mom speak to somebody, who she was not able to identify. After the shots rang out is when the daughter ran for safety.”
In addition, Moore admitted that he has had “closed-door meetings with the Secret Service and other prosecutors,” NPR noted. But that they are still waiting to hear if the phone will actually be unlocked. “I have not heard back since,” he said. “So I assume that they’re still trying to work on Miss Mills’ phone, or some type of replica, whatever they made.” In the meantime, Apple says they have given the Moore all of the information they have.
In the end, Mills states that while Apple claims they are trying to protect the privacy of their customers, she wonders who is protecting her daughter. “What about the victims who used your product? They were faithful, too. They paid their bills,” she said.
Read the NPR report in its entirety here.