Noise complaints, crime increasing in Midtown bar scene

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The bar scene is returning to normal in Nashville, but with it comes a concerning trend of crime and noise complaints in Midtown.

There have been eight shots fired calls to police from the Demonbreun Hill and Division street bars
since January 1, this past weekend resulting in a death.

“This is not an area where we’ve had a pattern of violent crime before this and so… I don’t know what is causing this as a spike,” said District 19 Councilman Freddie O’Connell, who has been getting a lot of complaints recently.

“I continue to get noise complaints all the way from Demonbreun Hill down toward where Division and 21st… there’s a stretch of bars there that continue to violate the noise ordinances that are on the books,” O’Connell explained, “Worse, recently at Demonbreun Hill we’ve had some violence that has resulted, you know, gun violence that has resulted in death, right there, that seems from what I can read from police reports, to be linked to activity in the bars in that area.”

The shootout on Saturday resulted in the death of a 26-year-old man and left a 25-year-old man injured.

The Element Music Row apartment complex across the street from the bars sent an email to residents Sunday stating they are now locking the doors in the evenings and only allowing access via key fob or the call box.

Hired security at the bars and residents told News 2 the gun violence is getting worse.

“I’ve lived at 1505 Demonbreun right down the street here, for a little over three years, it’s not a good situation, this is usually a pretty good spot,” said resident Eric Stinebaugh, “You’re always going to have your altercations, but this has kind of ramped up things with this new bar coming in.”

O’Connell said he’ll be working with the Midtown Police precinct on compliance and safety regulations.

“There’s this question of are people going to make the adjustments to at least get into compliance with what is on the books, or are we going to continue in this, you know, prolonged protracted fight about when we might be able to take you to court and shut you down?” O’Connell told News 2.

“And certainly the biggest issue of all is, if there’s a pattern of violent crime occurring that is specific to an establishment, we need to understand what is causing that, why, why are we seeing that pattern of activity at a specific location and how can we disrupt that?” he concluded.

In 2018, they shut down a business on division street until it could resolve noise violations. Police and the district attorney’s office say that can be a lengthy process.

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