This cop is being sued for streaming a traffic stop on TikTok

(Image credit: Future • Kym Winters)

There are some things you shouldn't post on the internet – and as a member of law enforcement, an innocent person's driver's license definitely makes the list. A Dallas cop is now being sued after sharing a TikTok live stream of himself conducting a traffic stop on a driver (who was not speeding) simply for entertainment purposes. 

Hundreds of viewers online were exposed to the driver, Torry Osby's, personal information that was being broadcast live, including his license number, home address, and place of birth. Using this information, one TikTok viewer was able to track Osby down and inform him of what the deputy sheriff had done.

• Protect yourself with one of these best dash cams – and always have proof of any road accidents or unlawful traffic stops

The driver from Tarrant County, Texas, was unfairly Tik-doxxed by a local sheriff's deputy on March 02 2021, when officer Francisco Castillo (CycoCisco on TikTok) live-streamed himself performing a traffic stop. He pulled over the unsuspecting driver while performing a license check for no apparent reason, other than to entertain the hundred-plus online viewers that were watching at the time. 

Talk about an abuse of power! Luckily for this driver, having his details exposed to hundreds of potentially dangerous people on the social media clock app without his knowledge or consent kinda worked in his favor. One well-intentioned viewer was able to track down and inform Osby of this incident, leading to the current privacy violation lawsuit that has been filed by Osby and his lawyers against Castillo and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office. 

TikTok Sheriff Deputy Castillo has been sued for privacy infringement (Image credit: Cycocisco on TikTok)

According to a report by NBC 5, a total of 109 people were watching the TikTok live stream at the time that Mr. Osby was pulled over, with his driver's license and personal details fully visible for all to see. And this was not the first time that the deputy had posted videos to the app while on duty, earning him plenty of views and likes, which have since been taken down or hidden by the officer.  

"[Castillo] pulled him over, not because of a traffic violation, but because he wanted to live stream this on to TikTok to get followers or views and likes," said James Roberts, a civil rights attorney representing Osby.

"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." He also assured that Osby claimed to have set his cruise control below the speed limit to avoid any incidents, therefore should not have been pulled over.  

Lawsuit documentation shared by NBC 5 also reveals that an internal affairs investigation has ensued – and Osby had received an email from the sheriff’s office stating that Castillo had been suspended for two days for violating the agency's social media policy chapter 3.4. Osby has requested monetary compensation as well as a jury trial, according to the lawsuit.

An invasion of privacy on this scale should surely have larger consequences than a few days of unpaid suspension, and any other profession would likely result in a firing. Should this deputy sheriff get his 17K follower TikTok account shut down? Let us know what you think!

• You might also be interested in the Best budget dash cams, best Uber dash cams, best front and rear dash cams, as well as the best cameras for cyclists to keep yourself safe when out on the roads. 

• Take a look at Amazon's new Ring Car Cam for a luxury dash cam and car security experience, as well as our picks of the best speed camera detectors.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.