Oklahoma jail guards have been charged after forcing inmates to listen to ‘Baby Shark’ on repeat for more than 2 hours, officials say

  • Two former jail guards and their supervisor in Oklahoma have been charged with misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a prisoner, court records show.
  • investigators say they forced at least four inmates at an Oklahoma County jail to listen to the children's song "Baby Shark" on repeat as a form of discipline. 
  • Investigators said said the jail guards, Gregory Cornell Butler Jr., 21, and Christian Charles Miles, 21, admitted to playing "Baby Shark" and have since resigned. 
  • Their supervisor, Christopher Raymond Hendershott, who was also charged in the incident, has retired.
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Two former Oklahoma jail guards and their supervisor were charged on Monday after an investigation found they had punished inmates at their facility by making them stand up and listen to the children's song "Baby Shark" loudly on repeat for at least two hours.

According to an affidavit seen by The Oklahoman, at least four inmates at an Oklahoma County jail were forced to stand with their hands cuffed behind their backs and listen to the children's song on repeat during November and December 2019.

Gregory Cornell Butler Jr., 21; Christian Charles Miles, 21; and Christopher Raymond Hendershott, 50; were all charged on Monday with misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a prisoner, court records show.

According to the affidavit, Miles and Butler are accused of carrying out the punishment and Hendershott is accused of letting it happen.

All three men were employees of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department at the time of the incidents, KOCO-TV reported.

When the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office learned about the punishment, Butler and Miles were suspended and later resigned from the department. Hendershott retired.

Investigators said in the affidavit that Miles and Butler admitted to using "Baby Shark" as punishment.

They said the men used the song "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."

It's unclear exactly why they were disciplining the inmates in the first place.

"The playing of the music was said to be a joke between Miles and Butler," investigators said, adding at the music put "undue emotional stress" on the inmates.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater told The Oklahoman that he would have filed felony charges if there was an option.

"It was unfortunate that I could not find a felony statute to fit this fact scenario," Prater said. "I would have preferred filing a felony on this behavior."

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