Former police officer Michael Slager walks to the defense table during a bond hearing in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo
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Against a backdrop of violence by and toward police across the nation, opening statements will get underway Thursday in the murder trial of a white former police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.A panel of 11 white jurors and one black juror will decide the case against Michael Slager, who faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the April 2015 shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott. Just how much the broader issues of race, violence and law enforcement should be raised during the Slager trial was discussed by attorneys as Judge Clifton Newman heard some final motions in the case.
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