Former Allegheny County Jail inmate who had leg amputated speaks out about jail, its staff

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — A former Allegheny County Jail inmate who has filed a lawsuit against the jail and its staff is speaking out and talking only to Channel 11 about the conditions inside the facility that resulted in doctors having to amputate a portion of his leg.

Clayton McCray said the medical care he received was horrific, and he was “treated worse than an animal.”

Over time, his treatment became so bad that he lost his leg.

He says his experience behind bars was life-altering and has impacted every waking moment of his daily life.

“As far as anger, I think it’s deeper than that. It’s more of a saddened moment,” said Clayton McCray.

McCray says the lack of proper care led to his lower-right leg being amputated in 2020.

At age 27, he can now barely walk and wears a prosthetic.

He goes to physical therapy at least once a week and finds himself constantly going to the doctor for additional treatment.

“I’m still dealing with phantom pain from the prosthetic. Some nights I can’t even sleep due to the pain, and of course, I’m still having dreams of my leg being cut off,” said McCray.

In 2011, McCray was shot in the spine.

It led to numbness in his leg and his foot would drag.

McCray says jail officials and medical staff were aware of his condition, but they took away his orthopedic shoe and cane and did not provide necessary facilities like a handicap cell.

An ulcer eventually formed on his foot.

He says it became extremely infected and jail staff did the bare minimum to help until he begged for care.

By then, it was too late.

“I was telling them I’m infected. My leg swelled up like a tree trunk. My foot swelled up. I have a smell. I have an odor, and I was just being told I’m OK,” said McCray.

McCray was eventually rushed to Allegheny General Hospital, where doctors amputated the lower half of his leg.

Channel 11 told you last month when McCray, with the assistance of the Abolitionist Law Center, filed a lawsuit against Allegheny County and its jail staff.

McCray says he’s now publicly sharing his story to highlight the alleged negligence happening behind bars and for the sake of all inmates who are struggling to get the necessary care and treatment.

“I’m just hoping these people take accountability for everything they’ve done for me,” said McCray.

Channel 11 reached out to Allegheny County about Clayton’s claims and lawsuit.

A spokesperson said the county does not comment on lawsuits.