Former Oklahoma County jail detention officers have been charged for alleged cruelty after it was found that they forced inmates to listen to “Baby Shark” on loop.
Substandard operating procedure: An investigation revealed that Gregory Cornell Butler Jr. and Christian Charles Miles forced at least four inmates to listen to the popular children’s song at loud volumes for extended periods, the Oklahoman reported.
- Based on the video surveillance recordings, inmates endured listening to “Baby Shark” for as long as two hours.
- The inmates were subjected to the unusual form of abuse in an attorney visitation room of the jail in November and December 2019.
- While the music continuously played loudly, the inmates were handcuffed, forced to stand and secured to the wall.
- On Monday, Butler and Miles, both 21 years old, are accused of conducting the act while their supervisor, Christopher Raymond Hendershott, 50, is accused of doing nothing to stop them.
- Hendershott reportedly knew of the act on Nov. 23, yet “took no immediate action to either aid the inmate victim or discipline the Officers.”
- District Attorney David Prater charged the accused officers with “misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a prisoner and conspiracy.”
Undue emotional stress: Based on the affidavits filed, Miles admitted how he and Butler “systematically worked together and used the…booth as a means to discipline inmates and teach them a lesson because they felt that disciplinary action within the Detention Center was not working in correcting the behavior of the inmates.”
- The affidavits also revealed that Butler confirmed his use of the booth to punish inmates.
- Miles and Butler considered playing “Baby Shark” for inmates as a joke between themselves.
- According to investigators, the music put “undue emotional stress on the inmates who were most likely already suffering from physical stressors.”
- Sheriff P.D. Taylor suspended the officers from further contact with the inmates.
- He said that Butler and Miles quit and Hendershott retired by the end of the year, according to the New York Times.
- A similar use of the children’s song occurred in Florida in July 2019, where “Baby Shark” was blasted in a park to keep homeless people away.
Featured Image via KSDK News