An African American girl, Starr, and her brother, live in an inner city neighborhood. They are around many in gangs and drug users/dealers. The siblings and some of their friends attend a private school due to the violence at their school, which leads them to feel as if they live a double life.
After a racist, white police officer shot and killed Khalil, an African American teenager, when they were pulled over after a party, Starr has to gain the confidence and strength to testify in front of a court to find justice for his death.
After the officer shoots khalll based off of racial steryotypes. When the story hit the news, the officer was portrayed in the media as a good and caring officer, and Khalil was horribly racially stereotyped and profiled, as a gang banger and drug dealer. (Khalil was not) The police officer also lied to the station about what really happened that night., and at Khalil's funeral, Starr hears that he wont be prosecuted. After struggling to gain the courage to, she decides to testify.
Starr testifies and tells the jury everything that happened when her friend died. Starr feels that she has now spoken the full story, and hopes that justice will occur. But, when the jury decided to not prosecute the officer, riots and chaos erupted among the community., and a gang lit a family store on fire.
Going against a no snitch policy, neighbors tell police about what happened to the family store, and King, a known drug dealer, gets arrested.
Starr is left to reflect on her time spent with Khalil and will never forget him. She knows that the truth is powerful, and that that speaking out, and standing up is powerful.