Livestreaming Arrest on TikTok Gets Texas Sheriff’s Department Sued


It’s sometimes hard to quantify just how much of a paradigm shift the current ubiquity of cameras has been for society.

black smartphone taking photo of yellow round fruits
Black smartphone set up for livestream. Photo by Libby Penner

Perhaps nothing better exemplifies this than a lawsuit against a sheriff's department for livestreaming a traffic stop. And, no, we don’t mean police body cam footage – we’re talking an actual TikTok live stream. Such is life in the 2020s.

FStoppers reports that a man in Texas is suing the sheriff's department in Dallas County after his personal information was broadcast to an audience of about 100 people over a TikTok livestream. The sheriff’s deputy, named in the report as Francisco Castillo, was engaged in a traffic stop on March 2, 2021, with the individual, Torry Osby, who later found out the deputy had livestreamed the event because viewers reached out to Osby after viewing his personal information on his driver’s license.

Interestingly, in Texas, you don’t need the consent of both parties to record video but Osby’s lawyers are taking the angle that their client's personal information was exposed during the course of the TikTok live stream. This is pretty hard to dispute since his driver’s license was shown on the stream and was, in fact, the way he learned of the whole thing in the first place.

Whether Osby has a case or not remains to be seen, but it does bring up interesting questions around privacy in a society that is so obsessed with social media that is particularly focused on video and photography. Of course, for what it’s worth, there’s also the argument that the officer should’ve been more professional, and perhaps refrain from livestreaming on social media while working.

Any thoughts you might have on privacy and livestreaming are more than welcome in the comment section below.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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