Virgil Tibbs(Sydney Poitier) is a black police detective from the North who gets stuck in a small town deep in the South where black people are addressed as ‘boy’ and other derogatory names. He is more or less forced against his will to aid the local police forces headed by Chief Bill Gillespie(Rod Steiger), investigating the murder of a prominent businessman.
The murder isn’t the most interesting part of the movie and is more the MacGuffin that keeps the story going. The racial tension itself is more the focus. But in a way in how Tibbs and Gillespie interact. For while there is the racial divide, there is also something like a band of brothers for they are both policemen.
The scene starts with Tibbs, having a belly full of the racial hatred, deciding to leave town. Chief Gillespie attempts to change his mind. Since the images say enough(edits are mine):