Jim Harris goes with his partners to steal $300,000 from a Mafia-controlled policy bank in Harlem, disguised as police officers. The robbery goes wrong and results in the deaths of seven men — three black gangsters, two members of the Mafia, and two police officers. Lieutenant William Pope, a strait-laced black police officer is assigned to work the case with aging Captain Frank Mattelli, a street-wise but racist Italian-American cop.
Although Lieutenant Pope works strictly by the book and states that he is in charge of the investigation, he struggles to restrain Mattelli, who receives money from Doc Johnson, the leader of black organized crime in Harlem. Over the course of roughly twenty-four hours, Pope and Mattelli race to get to the criminals before they can be hunted down by the Mafia, which is also searching for Harris’ crew. The Italians are led by Nick DiSalvio, a savage capo who plans to torture the robbers, when he finds them, to deter others from trying what they did.
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