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'I don't want my son's death to be in vain'

Tensions are high ahead of the grand jury ruling on the death of Michael Brown.

Updated 12.53pm

UNITED STATES PRESIDENT Barack Obama has urged for calm ahead of a grand jury decision expected to trigger protests in the restive town of Ferguson, where the FBI arrested two men on firearms charges.

A grand jury in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson is looking at the racially charged shooting that saw white police officer Darren Wilson shoot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, an African American.

The black teen’s death in August led to weeks of violence, and Missouri’s governor this week declared a state of emergency and activated the state National Guard ahead of the decision.

Immigration Stakes Analysis Source: AP/Press Association Images

In a sign of just how heated unrest may be once the grand jury’s decision is made public, the FBI earlier this week arrested two suspected members of the new Black Panthers on outstanding warrants for purchasing two pistols, CBS News reported.

Citing an FBI spokesman, CBS said the two men were discovered during an FBI undercover operation buying explosive materials to possibly use during protests.

The St Louis residents were arraigned in federal court Friday.

The FBI separately announced it has deployed about 100 agents to St Louis in anticipation of the decision.

“First and foremost, keep protests peaceful,” Obama told ABC News.

“This is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust, but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”

Obama’s comments came after Brown’s father and Attorney General Eric Holder also made separate appeals.

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“Thank you for lifting your voices to end racial profiling and police intimidation, but hurting others or destroying property is not the answer,” the victim’s father, Michael Brown Sr, said in a somber video plea.

Source: STL Forward/YouTube

No matter what the grand jury decides, I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain.

In the United States, grand juries meet in secret to review some cases before deciding whether criminal charges should be brought.

The jury could indict Wilson, meaning he could face trial, or it could determine there is no case for him to answer.

Authorities have previously said they expect the grand jury decision any time between mid- to late-November.

- © AFP, 2014. Originally published 9.36am

Read: Missouri declares state of emergency ahead of Ferguson verdict >

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