Guards Accused of Torturing Inmates by Forcing Them to Listen to “Baby Shark”

Two former Oklahoma County jail guards and their supervisor were hit with cruelty to prisoner charges for torturing inmates by allegedly forcing them to listen to “Baby Shark,” BuzzFeed reports.

Christian Miles and Greg Butler, Jr. reportedly forced four inmates to stand alone in rooms handcuffed to a wall at the Oklahoma County Detention Center while they listened to the children song on repeat. Per the probable cause affidavits, at least two of these inmates were forced to stand for two hours.

Following an investigation into the matter, it was found that the song was put “on a loop to play repetitively aloud…thus putting undue emotional stress on the inmates who were most likely already suffering from physical stressors.” This was allegedly an alternative form of punishment to “teach [the inmates] a lesson.” Along with Miles and Butler, guards’ shift commander, Christopher Hendershott, was reportedly aware of the practices. He also ignored multiple inmate complaints to get the guards to stop. 

Although the music was a “joke between the two guards,” this punishment could legally be considered torture. Music being played for hours can result in psychological torture and was used by the CIA during the George W. Bush administration. 

Hendershott, Miles, and Butler have all been charged with misdemeanor offenses of cruelty to prisoners, corporal punishment to an inmate, and conspiracy. A spokesperson for the facility says that all three guards were removed from having contact with inmates once the accusations reached officials in December 2019. They also all left the department voluntarily during the investigation. 

“We don’t tolerate it,” Sheriff P.D. Taylor said once hearing of the allegations. “We always did an excellent job policing ourselves.”

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