On October 23, 1989, Charles "Chuck" Stuart places a frantic 911 call reporting that he and his pregnant wife, Carol, a white couple, have been shot by a Black man in Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood. The ensuing investigation proves to be a lightning rod for the city, igniting decades-old racial tensions and brutal targeting amidst a media firestorm.
After Carol succumbs to her injuries that night, Boston mayor Raymond Flynn declares a citywide manhunt for the killer. When Carol and Chuck's baby also dies just days after being born, the homicides are thrust further into the spotlight. As the mostly Black and Latino residents of Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood suffer aggressive raids, "stop and frisk" searches, and some questionable police tactics, the already fraught relationship between residents and Boston Police disintegrates. Fanned by the media uproar and simmering tensions, and with skepticism from the Black community and some members of the press about the veracity of Chuck's story, the police face increasing pressure to solve the case and Boston is transformed into a powder keg as the quest for an arrest reaches a critical juncture.
The shocking shooting of a white couple at the hands of an alleged Black assailant makes headlines and Boston's facade as a progressive city begins to slip as its unsavory legacy of racial violence and segregation again comes to the fore. Tensions escalate as police descend upon the Black community, arresting their first suspect – a Black man in Mission Hill whose possession of an Adidas tracksuit puts him in their crosshairs.
After evidence against their first suspect falls apart, the Boston Police Department continues its aggressive targeting of Black neighborhoods, eventually leading to a second suspect, a local man named William Bennett with a long police record. Bennett is arrested and held on an unrelated charge, while police continue to gather evidence against him. Newspapers vie for the chance to tell Chuck's story as media and police ignore issues in his version of events.
In a shocking twist two months after the murder, Chuck commits suicide and surprising revelations emerge from his brother, Matthew. Troubling errors in the police investigation also come to light and the Black community responds in anger at the prejudicial manhunt and the media's handling of the story. Bostonians are left to confront the lasting impact of the Stuart case and to reflect on the enduring damage to their city.