Police say Apple's refusal to unlock phones is about more than crimes

The protest is part of a nationwide effort to support Apple in its battle with the FBI.

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“Security experts agree that what the FBI is asking apple to do is to actually make us less safe not more safe,” Evan Greer, one of the protest organizers, said.

Apple said it does not want to unlock the iPhone because doing that could potentially give the government access to data on every iPhone.

Lt. Peter Kelly, who runs the computer forensic lab for the Metro Law Enforcement Council, said of all technological devices, authorities are most frequently asked to review smartphones.

“I'd argue it's the responsibility of Apple and these other providers to help law enforcement get in for cases where the data is imperative to the case, or in a terrorism case," he said.

Kelly also said police across the county are frustrated with Apple's decision, and not just because it could prevent them from solving crimes.

"What we see too is in the case of a motor vehicle accident or a missing juvenile where the phone has been left behind and their parents are just hoping to hold on to something from that child,” Kelly said.

Apple has until Friday to officially respond to a request for the San Bernardino case.

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