An inmate at Oklahoma County Jail was found dead over the weekend, less than a year after he was a plaintiff in a lawsuit that accused jail staff of torturing him by playing “Baby Shark” on loop for hours.
According to Oklahoma County Detention Center officials, John Basco, 48, was found unresponsive in his cell early Sunday morning. Back in 2019, Basco and several other inmates incarcerated at Oklahoma County Jail filed a lawsuit that alleged they were tortured by jail staff, who repeatedly spun the viral children’s tune.
The 2021 lawsuit claimed the plaintiffs were “forced to listen to the song over and over while physically restrained in the attorney visitation room” at a volume “so loud that it was reverberating down the hallways.”
While Basco’s cause of death has yet to be determined, a spokesperson for the jail told the Oklahoman, “One of the possibilities being investigated is that it was a drug overdose.”
Meanwhile, Basco’s attorney Cameron Spradling told Rolling Stone he finds his client’s death to be suspicious.
“Two plus two doesn’t make four,” Spradling said. “It was very fortuitous to this jail and those detention officers that John Basco’s dead. … There is a criminal case and a federal civil rights case pending against three former detention officers, including a longtime lieutenant. One of the ‘Baby Shark’ Torture Victims is conveniently dead within three days of his arrival.”