08/21/2014 12:45 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2014

Former Cop Condemns Lt. Ray Albers' Threats To 'Shoot The Public' In Ferguson

A former cop told HuffPost Live on Thursday that the suburban St. Louis police officer who threatened to kill protesters in Ferguson was completely out of line with law enforcement standards.

Arthur Rizen, a former police officer and current associate law professor at West Virginia University, spoke with host Alyona Minkovski to shed some light on the escalating tension between police and civilians in Ferguson.

Speaking specifically about Ray Albers, Rizen described feeling "astonished" that the St. Louis lieutenant "didn't know better" than to wield such a powerful weapon in such close proximity to Ferguson civilians while issuing brash threats.

"He's holding an assault rifle," he said, referring to Albers. "That weapon is designed to engage the enemy, because it's a military weapon, up to 300 yards. There's no reason for him to be pointing that weapon at close range, except to look menacing and to look like he's trying to intimidate people and scare people. Or maybe, in fact, he was thinking about shooting individuals."

Rizen said Albers was acting outside the law during the incident.

"There isn't a policy in the United States that I'm aware of where any individual is able to act like that," he added. "That was outrageous behavior by the individual."

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live's new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!