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As a boy, Kyle Richmond witnessed the murder of his parents, the event that turned him into Nighthawk. Now, the people of Chicago are dying in the streets at the hands of a monster whose scars run deeper than Nighthawk's.
Millionaire Kyle Richmond, as Nighthawk, confronts a teenaged white supremacist on Chicago's South side who is defacing a graffiti mural of a black Nativity with Nazi symbols. When a gang of African-American thugs arrives on the scene, Richmond leaves the white supremacist to their limited mercies. A late-night discussion with deputy mayor Stratt reveals that mayor Deroseau intends to take out Nighthawk to eliminate his violent brand of vigilante street justice, which is gaining favor over the ineffective Chicago police in the predominantly black western and southern neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, Steven Binst, a former pharmacist who dispensed deadly poisons to black customers and has spent the past 10 years in catatonic shock after a violent gang rape in prison, uses the occasion of his parole hearing to escape back into society dressed in the guise of a visiting clown.