Police chiefs say they are confident they carried out a full and proper investigation into the death of a man who was stabbed in a Black Country nightclub after it was announced the actions of detectives would be reviewed.
Another force is to be brought in to look at how West Midlands Police investigated the killing of Ryan Passey.
The 24-year-old amateur footballer was stabbed to death on a night out with friends at Chicago’s nightclub in Stourbridge in 2017.
Mr Passey’s family have long called for the force’s investigation to be reviewed after being left devastated by the acquittal of the man who had been accused of murdering him. They welcomed last week’s announcement as a significant step forward in their fight for answers from the police.
Kobe Murray was cleared by a jury of murder and manslaughter the following year. He admitted stabbing Mr Passey but said he did so in self-defence, an argument accepted by jurors.
West Midlands Police said it remained confident the evidence presented in court was strong enough to secure a conviction.
The acquittal raised questions about whether the force put forward a strong enough case, while police chiefs have also been accused of a lack of co-operation with the family since the trial.
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A spokeswoman said: “We have written to Ryan’s family via their local MP to confirm we are supportive of an independent review of our investigation into his death to be conducted by another force.
“We remain confident all appropriate avenues were explored into Ryan’s death and the evidence presented to the Crown Prosecution Service was strong enough to secure a conviction. We remain disappointed by the subsequent acquittal.
“We hope an independent review will provide Ryan’s family with reassurance that all investigative and evidential opportunities were taken. Our thoughts remain with Ryan’s family and friends.”
Speaking on behalf of the family last week, friend and spokesman Jason Connon said: “Ryan deserved the best and most professional of investigations to have taken place.
“This is a big step forward.”
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