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Investigating the robbery of a music store, police officer Bill Joddy hears a woman screaming in a nearby alley. In the dim light he spots a fleeing figure and orders him to halt. When the fugitive continues running, Joddy shoots and kills him. The body is that of a 14-year-old boy who, it would appear, merely knocked down the woman in the alley. Public opinion mounts against Joddy for the "senseless killing," and he is suspended from the force pending trial for manslaughter. Though acquitted, Joddy is still considered "trigger happy" by his fellow officers. But further investigation reveals that the dead boy was in fact a member of the gang that robbed the music store. Joddy induces the young hoodlum's brother, Gussie, to admit the truth in exchange for a promise of leniency. The other gang members attempt to kill Gussie for talking, but Joddy subdues them and clears his reputation.