Two former Oklahoma County Jail officers and their superiors were charged with cruelty to prisoners as they subjected inmates to listen to children’s song ‘Baby Shark’ on loop in loud volume.
An investigation found at least four inmates were made to stand for extended periods of time with their hands cuffed to the wall while the song was played on loop.
The incidents took place last November and December.
Jail officers Christian Miles, 21 and Gregory Butler Jr., 21, and shift commander, Christopher Hendershott, 50, were charged with misdemeanour counts of cruelty to a prisoner and conspiracy.
Following the investigation into the matter, it was found Miles and Butler ‘systematically worked together’ and used the attorney visitation room at the detention centre ‘to discipline’ inmates and teach them a lesson.
Although the music played was said ‘to be a joke’ between the two jail guards. However, the punishment can legally be deemed as torture, the police said.
The repetitive use of the song did place the inmates ‘under emotional stress’, who were most likely suffering from physical stressors, the investigators added.
The jail officer duo and their rogue discipline practices were allegedly known to their supervisor, shift commander Christopher Hendershott and he did nothing to stop it.
According to a spokesperson for the facility, the officers and their supervisor have been removed from having any contact with the inmates. Following an internal investigation, the pair of Miles-Butler and supervisor Hendershott have all voluntarily left the department.
“We always did an excellent job policing ourselves,” Sheriff P.D. Taylor said. The Oklahoma Police Department doesn’t “tolerate it,” he added.
Music has been used to torture war prisoners and this is not the first time it is being used in the United States. The CIA is allegedly known to play children’s song on the loop as a form of torture to deprive inmates of sleep.