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Former Inmates Sue Jailers For Playing Baby Shark Song On Repeat

Jake Massey

Published 
| Last updated 

Former Inmates Sue Jailers For Playing Baby Shark Song On Repeat

Former inmates at a prison in the US are suing their jailers for playing 'Baby Shark' on repeat.

Daniel Hedrick, Joseph 'Joey' Mitchell and John Basco filed the civil rights lawsuit Monday (1 November), two years on from being put through what their attorneys described as 'torture events' at Oklahoma County jail, according to The Oklahoman.

A criminal investigation last year found that at least four inmates were forced to listen to the popular children's song on repeat and at high volumes for extended periods of time in November and December in 2019.

The disciplinary action took place in the visitation room of the jail, where prisoners were made to stand with their hands cuffed and secured to a wall.

Two former prison officers and their supervisor were charged with misdemeanour counts of cruelty to a prisoner and conspiracy, and a jury trial in the criminal case is set to take place in February.

If you're unfamiliar with the song 'Baby Shark', then consider yourself lucky.

Baby shark became maddeningly popular among children a few years back. Credit: PA
Baby shark became maddeningly popular among children a few years back. Credit: PA

The tune has been around for decades, but it went viral after South Korean company Pinkfong used it in a video that became the most viewed YouTube video ever.

To give you a flavour of how maddening the song is, the lyrics are as follows: "Baby shark, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo."

That, over and over again.

The former inmates are suing Oklahoma County commissioners, Sheriff Tommie Johnson III, the jail trust and two former jailers, with the lawsuit stating that 'the volume of the song was so loud that it was reverberating down the hallways'.

Following the criminal investigation, Oklahoma county district attorney David Prater said the use of 'Baby Shark' in the jail was 'cruel and inhumane' and put 'undue emotional stress on the detainees who were most likely already suffering'.

Former Oklahoma county sheriff PD Taylor said young prison officers Gregory Cornell Butler Jr. and Christian Charles Miles were suspended as soon as the allegations came to light and subsequently resigned, while lieutenant Christopher Raymond Hendershott retired.

Taylor said: "We don't tolerate it. We always did an excellent job policing ourselves."

'Baby Shark' was used in Florida in 2019 to deter homeless people from sleeping in a park, in a move that was widely condemned.

According to CNN, Megan Hustings, interim director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, said: "Responding with this kind of discrimination and disgust instead of compassion is... really immoral. It's disturbing.

"We're all humans, and we need to sleep."

Featured Image Credit: Google Maps

Topics: US News, crime, Prison

Jake Massey
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