Family: System ‘failed’ 22-year-old before he was shot by police

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A man killed in a June police shooting was in the process of being committed to a hospital.

“The family is completely devastated,” says Kymara Seals.

Seals, speaking on behalf of Tramon Savage’s family, says the last few months have been difficult.

Court documents show the 22-year-old’s mother was in the process of committing him to the hospital for mental health issues when he died.

“He did not want to voluntarily check-in,” says Seals.

Seals says Savage suffered several concussions playing football and his attitude changed after high school.

Records show Savage started ‘drinking everyday’ and was diagnosed with clinical depression and refusing to take his medication.

Documents show Savage would ‘be looking around and just burst out laughing’ and said things like ‘he wished that he could give people the talent that he has, such as hearing and seeing things.’

“The family did not have the help and assistance that they needed from the State,” says Seals.

Online records show Savage’s original commitment hearing was June 11 but he couldn’t be served with the paperwork ordering him to show up. It was rescheduled for June 14, after he was served but that day he was shot and killed by police hours before his hearing.

“It’s very unfortunate what happened to Mr. Savage,” says Margie Lickert, who works as a Staff Attorney at the Prosecuting Coordinator’s Office.

Lickert works in the mental health court system.

She says the current system has been in place since 1989 with minor changes.

“I think the procedures we have, have done a lot of good for people,” says Lickert.

She couldn’t speak to policy or procedure changes because that’s left up to lawmakers.

“I do think our procedures that we have were followed,” says Lickert.

Seals disagrees.

“The system failed Tramon and had he received the resources, the family received the help they needed for him — they believe Tramon would be alive today,” says Seals.

Lickert says after someone files a petition to have someone committed, that case is heard within three business days.

Those court hearings happen twice a week.

Lickert says there’s about 20-30 cases on the docket a week.

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