****SPOILERS**** Chief Robert T. Ironside, Raymond Burr, is appointed by Police Commissioner Dennis Randall, Gene Lyons, to represent traveling black militant , who goes from town to town fomenting trouble, Robert Phillips, Paul Winfield, in a murder during a race riot in the slums of San Francisco. It was Philips who was caught on film at the scene of white merchant Arthur Stavely's murder. Ironside soon realizes that Phillips is holding something back from him and the court in the reason for Stavely's murder which in fact was covered up by the race riot. It had to do with how Stavely ran his business and what he found out in who was in fact undercutting his profits!
Doing his best Perry Mason imitation Chief Ironside uses the help of his back and former gang leader driver Mark Sanger, Tom Mitchell, to sniff out the truth from those in the "hood", who consider him to be an Uncle Tom, the real reasons behind Stavely's murder. Sanger at the same time also has to suffer the slings and arrows from the white community especially Stavely's wife, Diane Shalet, who feels he's no better then those thugs who murdered her husband. What in fact turns out is that it wasn't any black rioters who did Stavely in. It was the last person that anyone including Chief Ironside would have suspected! That's until the you know what hit the fan by what Stavely's killer's accountant unknowingly reveled to Chief Ironside in what was happening with the sales records at his store! And even more important who was finagling them!
***SPOILERS*** Not being intimidated by a gang of black militants and not bending to pressure by the white community to get Philips convicted at all cost Ironside in Perry Mason style uncovered Satvely's killer just has he, and his girlfriend, was about to skip town to Hawaii with the money that he embezzled from him. With a black militant mob outside his house about to burn it down with him in it Stavely's murderer was more then happy for Ironside and the police to cuff him and take him away to the nearest police station for booking. He was also happy that he wasn't released into the custody of his old lady who, in him cheating on her, would have giving him such a brutal beating, with a frying pan & rolling pin, that's even worse then the black militant mob outside his house could even have hoped or dreamed of giving him!
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