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The Murphy family shares a proud tradition of service on the New York police force. Father Mike has retired from the force and is now a night watchman, while his son Terry has followed in his footsteps and is a valued member of the N.Y.P.D. However, son Joe, scornful of the low pay of the policeman, has chosen a life of crime under the leadership of gangster Frank Moran. Joe's choice pits brother against brother when Moran sends him to the track to bet on a horse. When Joe fails to place the bet and the horse wins, he bets on the next race and loses. This results in a fight with Blackie, one of Moran's gunmen, in which Blackie is killed. Fearing Moran's wrath as well as a murder charge, Joe flees, and Terry is ordered to arrest him. Moran then approaches Mike and offers him Joe's life in exchange for his looking the other way when the gang robs one of the shops on Mike's beat. Joe is finally apprehended by Terry and found guilty of murder. As Joe prepares to spend twenty years in prison, his wife Daisy tips Terry about one of Moran's heists, and Terry catches the gang in the act. In the ensuing gunfire, Mike is shot, but before he dies, he fatally wounds Moran. On his deathbed, Moran furnishes Terry with evidence that will exonerate his brother.