Set in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s, after the Black Panther movement for Self Defense had been formed in response to the harassment and violence being suffered by the black community at the hands of the police. Judge, a Viet Nam veteran, returns home to Oakland where the Black Panthers, led by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, have begun policing the police and monitering their activities. Judge's good friend Cy introduces him to Huey and the Black Panther credo which forever changes Judge's life. Taken into Huey's confidence, and pressured by the police to act as their informant, Judge raises the suspicions and animosity of fellow Panther Tyrone. The ensuing internal struggle is further exacerbated by the sudden overabundance of heroin available in the ghettos of Oakland, a solution tailored by the FBI in association with organized crime, to "neutralize" the black community and its leaders.