Woman claims Marco Island Police Dept. officers beat her up

Marco Island’s acting police chief ordered his department to review what a woman in a dash camera video claims – responding officers beat her up in May.

Dave Baer, acting police chief of Marco Island Police Department, released the video the same time as he did eight other documents related to Nina McKeough’s arrest.

In the video, viewers will see the officers cradle McKeough to get her into the back of a police cruiser. McKeough claims officers are responsible for bruises she has on her body and is considering filing a lawsuit.

“They absolutely responded in a very aggressive manner that I believe heightened this whole thing,” McKeough said. “They threw me to the ground face first, put a knee in my back and handcuffed me. Picked me up and threw me in the squad car.”

We do not know if a video exists that shows the violence McKeough claims. We do have police reports, which said Marco Island police officers responded to a domestic violence call from an Uber driver.

That driver claims McKeough’s boyfriend, Mont Reed, punched her in the face and threatened to do so again when they returned home.

When officers put handcuffs on Reed, they said McKeough tried to stop them and told them her boyfriend never hit her. McKeough was arrested for resisting an officer charge.

Rich Kolko, WINK News Safety and Security Specialist, said the acting chief released information and the video hoping to defuse the situation.

“He knows this information is going to get out,” Kolko said. “It’s much better off being in front of it. Getting it out to the public now.”

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Even though the woman did not file a complaint, the department will review how the officers responded. In a statement, Captain Baer said:

An informed public often finds itself in a position to trust or build trust in its government.  With this concept in mind I would like to brief you on an ongoing situation with the Marco Island Police Department.

A local media representative has notified MIPD that he intends to publish a story on Tuesday regarding the arrest of adult female for resisting arrest.  The arrest occurred when the female’s significant other was arrested for domestic battery where she was the victim. Regrettably not an uncommon occurrence in these type incidents.   I have attached a copy of the case material for reference.

The State Attorney’s Office has decided not to proceed with the prosecution of the female. This too, is not uncommon.  The standard required for an arrest is probable cause, while the standard for prevailing in court is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  The standards are not synonymous: probable cause is a much lower hurdle, and therefore people are frequently arrested by law enforcement but not prosecuted by the state.  The female who was arrested has not filed a complaint with MIPD (or any other organization to my knowledge) nor communicated with the MIPD post-arrest in any manner.

The reporter has asked a series of questions and provided what has been asserted as post-arrest photographs which show bruising.  I believe the questions and photographs justify further inquiry or vetting.  I have asked investigators to review the case, including the additional information provided by the reporter.  We are reviewing arrestee & officer actions, as well as associated policies.  It is far too early to suggest any policy violations or policy failures.

As expected, I have been in communication with the City Attorney, who concurs with my course of action to date.  The purpose of this communication is to provide early and detailed information, to prevent surprises with corresponding concern and/or disappointment due to a lack of information – in the spirit of proactive transparency.

Reporter:Hannah Vogel
Writer:Michael Mora
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