Based on the true story of a violent racially motivated murder that took place in Jasper, Texas in June of 1998. A black man, James Byrd, Jr., was chained to the back of apick-up truck and dragged to his death by three white men. Almost overnight, the small town was thrust into the blinding glare of the media spotlight and the incident became a flashpoint for the state of race relations in America. An outraged nation watched as the white sheriff, Billy Rowles (Jon Voight), and R.C. Horn (Louis Gossett Jr.), the first black mayor of Jasper, struggled to maintain control of their town and their own personal emotions.