Whiskey Row responds to 22-year-old’s death, launches complaint with Metro Police

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row has responded after the death of a 22-year-old man was ruled a homicide.  

On August 16, Dallas “DJ” Barrett from Smyrna died after an alleged altercation after he was held down on the rooftop by a number of security guards.  

On Friday, autopsy results found the cause of death was asphyxiation and the manner of death was a homicide. 

22-year-old Dallas Barrett

Whiskey Row issued a statement saying they issued an internal investigation into the matter and they are cooperating with the Metro Nashville Police Department. According to spokesperson Lissa Druss, security guards tried to get Barrett to leave after he reportedly shoved a man on the dance floor.  

Druss said an employee approached two officers standing outside Whiskey Row for assistance, but they declined and the employee was told to call 911. Druss said Metro police were called and officers made it to the rooftop via elevator six minutes later. 

“Our investigation revealed that when security requested assistance from Metro Police, an employee of Whiskey Row Nashville immediately approached two officers standing outside Whiskey Row for assistance. The officers would not provide assistance and told the employee to call 911, which was done,” the statement read in part. “Based upon the information available to us at the time and the footage captured by our internal security video system, security staff appeared to try and de-escalate the chain of events that transpired that evening until Metro Police could arrive.”

Before officers arrived, Whiskey Row said security guards tried to escort Barrett along with his friend and others out of the bar, but he lunged at them and injured one of them. 

“The second video clip shows as security was attempting to escort Barrett and others out, standing alone, Barrett turns, lunges, and assaults Security guard A which causes a laceration over his eye, requiring medical attention. Security attempts to restrain Barrett as the man in the yellow shirt and Anderson starts fighting with security. Due to Barrett’s large size, several security guards are needed to try and restrain him,” the statement continued.  

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Druss said Whiskey Row has filed an official complaint with Metro Police based on their response and has reached out to the medical examiner’s office for assistance in better understanding its report.  

 “A life was lost, and others are suffering from emotional and physical scars. The Whiskey Row Nashville family hopes there will be healing for all involved,” the statement concluded.  

Metro Police responded to News 2’s request for comment, saying an officer approached about the situation radioed for a security team to respond but was required to remain at the traffic post he was manning.

“The death of Dallas Jordan Barrett remains an open investigation that has involved numerous interviews, review of video material, and other continuous work by the MNPD’s Homicide Unit. The case file has not been shared with the bar; in fact the file in its totality is to be staffed with the District Attorney’s Office in the near future.

The officer on Broadway who was first approached about an unspecified fight on the roof of the business himself radioed for an MNPD security team to respond while that officer maintained a traffic post required for public safety. The actions of the officers who responded to the bar, as well as the officer initially told of a fight, are well documented in detail in the case file. 

The Office of Professional Accountability has no complaint from the bar.”

-Metro Nashville Police Department

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