A federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday alleges that a song for diaper-aged children, “Baby Shark,” was played on loop for hours as a torture tool, according to several former inmates named in the complaint.
“The volume of the song was so loud that it was reverberating down the hallways,” the lawsuit claimed according to a report by the Washington Post.
Three prior inmates of the Oklahoma County Detention Center named in the lawsuit were apparently subjected to the song at different times for up to three to four-hour stints while standing with their handcuffed hands behind their backs in an otherwise empty room.
“This prolonged restraint … under the conditions described herein, is tantamount to torture, was excessive and not rationally related to any legitimate governmental or penological purpose,” the lawyers asserted.
The lawsuit also cites other instances where musical punishment has been deployed.
“Use of the ‘Baby Shark’ children’s song, in the manner described herein, is known device to torment,” the attorneys wrote. “It has been reported that the city of West Palm Beach has utilized ‘Baby Shark’ outside an event center to deter homeless people from sleeping or convening in the area at night.”
The song “Baby Shark” song has been viewed on YouTube more than 9.5 billion times. Listen and draw your own conclusion on whether the repetitive song on repeat should be classified as “torture.”
(Video Credit: PinkFong)
Many agreed with the former jailbirds’ assessment that the song was torture, while others pointed out that was just a regular day for many mothers of young children.
My kids did this to me for about a year. I can attest, this is definitely a form of torture.
— Jerry Tohtz (@ChicagoJT21) November 5, 2021
“Shit, I’m already used to that. I’ll nap through it”🤷🏻♀️
— Clin (@LadyClin) November 5, 2021
Anyone ever been to Disney and rode the “It’s a Small World” ride has been through much worse and paid for it too!
— Reasonable Guy (@ReasonableGuy47) November 5, 2021
That shit is inhumane..I can’t even listen to that song once without wanting to gouge my eyes out😂
— Dray Mireles (@dray79tx) November 5, 2021
Ja’Lee Foreman Jr., a fourth former prisoner, was not subjected to the redundant children’s song recorded by a Korean K-pop star. Instead, the 18-year-old claimed he was “accosted,” spat on, and yelled obscenities at by the officers in November 2019. Foreman said a guard told him, “I’m going to make sure you live in hell!”
“After removing the handcuffs, officer Miles, in the presence of officer Butler, drove his knee into Mr. Foreman’s back as he slammed him into the wall of his cell,” the lawsuit reads. “As Mr. Foreman turned around, officer Miles then spit into Mr. Foreman’s face. Both officer Miles and officer Butler laughed at Mr. Foreman as they left the cell pod.”
The lawsuit also mentioned that the detainees “posed no threat to the officers or anyone else,” and were “not actively resisting any lawful command.”
The inmates seek $75,000 in damages according to the suit due to 14th amendment violations related to the use of excessive force and “unconstitutional conditions of confinement/torture.”
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