According to court records, three employees at an Oklahoma jail face charges for forcing inmates to listen to the song ‘Baby Shark’ on repeat.
The Oklahoma County Jail detention officers are 21-year-old Christian Miles and Gregory Butler, as well as their former supervisor, 50-year-old Christopher Hendershott.
According to the District Court records, the men faced charges on Monday for cruelty to prisoners, corporal punishment to an inmate, and conspiracy.
Records show that the incidents happened on at least five separate occasions throughout November and December. Miles and Butler would place five individual inmates in an empty attorney visitation room and handcuff them to the wall. The officers would then force them to stand for hours, found an internal investigation.
The inmates were also forced to listen to the song ‘Baby Shark’ on repeat as it played through a computer. The song is wildly popular amongst children after an internet breakthrough.
Miles claims that the song was a joke between himself and Butler.
According to David Prater, the Oklahoma County district attorney, the three men acted “conjointly, willfully and wrongfully.”
Furthermore, Prater says they also behaved in a “cruel or inhuman manner” by punishing the inmates like so.
He continued, saying that the playing of the song on repeat put “undue emotional stress on the inmates who were most likely already suffering.”
In addition, at least two of the inmates had their sleep disrupted. Court records show, officers put an inmate in the room around 3 a.m., while another received punishment around 2 a.m.
Ongoing Issue at Oklahoma Jail
Prater wrote that the officers were “the subject of numerous inmate complaints that detailed their history of mistreatment.”
The three charges are misdemeanors. However, Prater says he “would have preferred filing a felony on this behavior.”
The two young officers resigned following an internal investigation, and Lieutenant Hendershott retired.
[H/T New York Times]