A city called Garden Heights is a poor black neightborhood with many gangs where Starr, a 16 years old grew up in, having two lives. One side is a suburban all white school with only two other black kids and the other side is a poor black neightborhood. Khalil was Starr´s best friend who was shot and killed by an white police officer.
After a while, Starr finally decides to speak out for Khalil with the support of Mrs. Ofrah, a community activist. She goes on live TV and testifies in court against officer one fifteen to talk about Khalil´s death he witnessed and to bring him justice.
Officer Cruise gets away without charges. That causes an outbreak of violence and riots causing a lot of damage within the community. Later that night, a gang sets the Carter´s store on fire.