John Basco, an Oakland County inmate was found dead in his cell early last week. Although there is seemingly no evidence of foul play, some are calling his death into question. The biggest reason is due to Basco being a plaintiff in a case against the county alleging that in 2019, he and other inmates were forced to listen to the song “Baby Shark” for hours on repeat.
According to the HuffPost, the 48 year old inmate was found unresponsive in his cell on Sunday, September 11th, per the press release by Oakland County Detention Center officials. The news release also stated that there were lifesaving efforts made upon the discovery of Basco’s body. The death marks the 14th this year at the facility, a statistic that continues to gain criticism, along with the number of incidences of escapes.
Mark Opgrande, jail spokesman, shared that investigators will look into the possibility of a drug overdose, and that ultimately, the State Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the exact cause of death.
Basco, along with other current and former inmates, was in the process of suing the county in federal court for allegedly torturing them by forcing them to listen to the song “Baby Shark” continuously in 2019 during separate incidents. The group also alleges that they were chained to the wall while being made to listen on various occasions.
Basco’s attorney, Cameron Spradling reported to The Oklahoman that he found the circumstances surrounding his client’s death “disturbing” and called for the preservation of all evidence as the investigation unfolds.
“I’m really bothered by this,” Spradling said. “One of the ‘Baby Shark’ victims is conveniently dead within three days of his arrival at the jail. How does that happen? District Attorney David Prater just lost one of his witnesses for the upcoming criminal trial. For me, this one does not pass the smell test.”