Parents can relate to this one. Inmates at an Oklahoma jail said they were subjected to cruel and inhumane punishment when they were forced into stress positions while listening to ‘Baby Shark’ on repeat for hours, according to a lawsuit that was filed this week.
The catchy children’s song was just one of the torturous methods used as a discipline tactic, which also included alleged excessive force, according to the federal civil rights lawsuit.
The suit was filed in the Western District of Oklahoma on behalf of Ja’Lee Foreman Jr., Daniel Hedrick, Joseph Mitchell and John Basco, who were pre-trial detainees at the Oklahoma County jail in late 2019, according to NBC News. The suit names Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III, the board of county commissioners, the jail trust and two former jail officers as defendants.
The defendants are accused of failing to adequately train and supervise its officers, according to the lawsuit. It’s also alleged that the jail officers involved had a history of mistreatment well known to supervisors, but no actions were taken to stop them, the lawsuit said.
On Nov. 30, 2019, Mitchell was pulled from his cell by jail officers around 11:45 p.m. The officers then placed Mitchell into a room where he was forced into a “standing stress position” for three to four hours while handcuffed behind his back, the suit alleges.
The officers are then accused of playing ‘Baby Shark’ on loop.
“Mitchell was forced to listen to the song over and over while physically restrained in the attorney visitation room. The volume of the song was so loud that it was reverberating down the hallways,” the lawsuit said.
Basco and Hedrick claim they also were forced to stand in stress positions while listening to the song at different times in late 2019, according to the suit.
Foreman says he was not forced to listen to the song, but was placed in a stress position and later was kneed in the back and slammed into a wall by one officer and spat on by another, the lawsuit said.
The inmates posed no threats to the officers in these alleged incidents, the lawsuit states.
Johnson declined comment on the litigation. We’ll keep you posted on any updates.
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