Brennan (Nick Nolte) is a respected New York City cop who shoots a small-time hood in cold blood and claims self defence. However, he has not counted for the young Assistant D.A. (Timothy Hutton) who is assigned to investigate the shooting and in the process, sheds some light on the seedy side of a police department riddled with corruption, drug dealing and racism. To try and cover his tracks, witnesses against Brennan begin to turn up murdered until there is only one potential witness left; gangster and drug-runner Bobby Texador (Armand Asante). But can he be kept alive in time to testify?