DALLAS – A Texas deputy and his agency have been sued by a motorist who says his privacy was violated when he was stopped for a traffic violation, and later discovered the contact was livestreamed on the deputy’s TikTok account, according to a report.
Deputy Francisco Castillo and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office are listed as defendants in a lawsuit filed by Torry Osby, a driver who says his privacy was violated. Osby filed the civil action after he said he was detained by Castillo during a traffic stop on March 2, 2021, NBC DFW reported.
“The traffic encounter ended with Mr. Osby receiving a verbal warning and no citation,” according to the lawsuit. Yet the plaintiff was later contacted by a stranger and made aware that the encounter was livestreamed on Castillo’s TikTok account.
“He pulled him over, not because of a traffic violation, but because he wanted to livestream this on to TikTok to get followers or views and likes,” said Osby’s attorney, James Roberts.
“When looking at his TikTok, I mean, there are numerous other videos where he’s on duty, and those videos had the most views of any of the videos on his TikTok,” Roberts said.
According to a screenshot of Castillo’s TikTok account under the username @cycocisco in March 2021, it lists nearly 14,000 followers, and contains several videos with Castillo dressed in his Dallas County Sheriff’s uniform, the lawsuit claims.
During the traffic stop involving Osby, the plaintiff provided his driver’s license as you would expect during such an encounter.
“When he asks for his ID, his driver’s license, he hands that to the officer, and the officer then shows on camera to everyone following,” Roberts said. “Everyone watching our client’s identifying information, his name, his address, his date of birth, his driver’s license number, height, weight, eye color, hair color, everything that you would need to impersonate someone or to know where someone lives and to get their information.”
A screenshot attached to the lawsuit reportedly demonstrates what the civil rights lawyer said, as it shows the moment Castillo flashed Osby’s driver’s license on camera, NBC DFW reported.
“A person who was watching then reached out to our client using the information that was broadcast on the livestream,” the civil rights attorney said.
According to the witness, 109 people were tuned in at that particular moment in time.
“When you’re doing it for personal gain, I think at that point you’re abusing the privileges and the power you have as a government official,” Roberts said.
According to the lawsuit, “Mr. Osby filed a complaint against defendant Castillo with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and an Internal Affairs investigation ensued.”
Following the formal complaint, Osby received an email from the sheriff’s office that said Castillo was suspended for violating the agency’s social media policy, the lawsuit revealed.
“I’m wondering if he had his cell phone on his chest if he had another type of camera. I’d also like to know if that cell phone camera was government-issued,” Roberts said. “We’ll be able to hear what he was saying over his livestream because I don’t know that we’re going to be able to obtain the livestream video that happened over TikTok. So, the body camera video will show what he was saying on that.”
Osby alleges the TikTok livestream caused him emotional distress, which has required therapy, and additional security at home. Hence, the plaintiff has requested a jury trial and monetary compensation.
NBC DFW tried to contact Castillo via his TikTok account, but the request was deleted by the user.
Neither the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office nor the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association replied to requests for comment as of Wednesday afternoon.