Deputy Francisco Castillo and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office are listed as defendants in a privacy violation lawsuit. Torry Osby is the driver who filed the lawsuit after he says he was pulled over by Castillo on March 2, 2021.
According to the lawsuit, “the traffic encounter ended with Osby receiving a verbal warning and no citation.”
However, it wasn’t until later that Osby was contacted by a stranger and made aware that the meeting was being streamed live on Castillo’s TikTok account.
“He pulled him over, not because of a traffic violation, but because he wanted to stream this directly to TikTok to get followers or views and likes,” James Roberts said. Roberts is a civil rights attorney and represents Osby.
A screenshot in the lawsuit shows Castillo’s TikTok account under the username @cycocisco in March 2021. His account information shows nearly 14,000 followers and below are thumbnails of his videos dressed in his Dallas County Sheriff’s uniform.
“When you look at his TikTok, I mean, there’s a lot of other videos where he’s on duty, and those videos had the most views of any video on TikTok,” Roberts said.
During the traffic stop, Osby produced his driver’s license.
“When he asks for his identification, his driver’s license, he gives it to the officer, and the officer then shows on camera to everybody that’s following,” Roberts said. “Anyone looking at our client’s identifying information, his name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number, height, weight, eye color, hair color, anything you need to impersonate someone or to know where someone lives and get their information.”
A screenshot in the lawsuit allegedly shows the moment Castillo flashed Osby’s driver’s license on camera.
“A person watching then reached out to our customer using the information broadcast on the live broadcast,” Roberts said.
That person told Osby that 109 people had applied.
“When you do it for personal gain, I think at that point you are abusing the privileges and power you have as a public 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 investigation ensued.“
The lawsuit shows an email Osby received from the sheriff’s office that Castillo was suspended for violating the agency’s social media policy.
Osby and his attorney want to know if the cell phone was government-issued and if body camera video of the encounter is available.
“I wonder if he had his mobile phone on his chest, if he had another type of camera. I would also like to know if the cell phone camera was government issued, Roberts said. “We’ll be able to hear what he said over his live stream because I don’t know that we’re going to be able to get the live stream video that happened over TikTok. So the body cam video will show what he said about that.”
Osby claims that the live broadcast has caused emotional distress, requiring therapy and increased security at home. Osby has asked for a jury trial and financial compensation.
NBC 5 reached out to Castillo via his TikTok account, but the request was deleted by the user.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association were also contacted, but as of Wednesday afternoon, requests have gone unanswered.