Recently a man entered a police station in Bangkok, Thailand wielding a knife. That's when Anirut Malee's instincts took over. Malee, a Thai police officer, deescalated the situation like a Jedi.
In this first image, Anirut Malee's gestures in a palms-up fashion - which is very wise. He is asking, not telling. He is open, not hyper-authoritative, nor threatening.
This next frame may, at first, seem trivial - but it's not. Anirut Malee's entire posture changes. Notice he puts a hand on the desk, his weight on his right foot, and his entire posture is more relaxed.
Next Anirut Malee sits on the corner of the desk - lowering his stature and becoming even less physically dominant. Crucially, he "body-points" down the hallway - and NOT at the man holding the knife.
Officer Malee's repeated palms-up gesture - asking for the assailant to hand over the weapon - as he lowers his head/bends his neck, further de-escalates the situation.
Even when he finally takes the knife, Officer Malee still remains sitting on the desk. If he stood up at this particular moment, it could very well backfire.
In this image, as gestures with his arms-wide and walks toward the man, Anirut Malee made the small mistake of not throwing the knife away before the hug. It would have also been a bit better if the officer's arms were lower in this moment. All things being equal, the higher the arms are positioned, the more threatening a person is felt to be.
As he begins the hug, Officer Malee throws the knife away.
For the second time, Malee waves off assistance. He's very aware that the man is emotionally decompressing.
The act of allowing the man to rest his head on Anirut Malee's neck-shoulder, is particularly disarming.
Summary: Much too often, police officers escalate confrontations when they should be deescalating. Yet Officer Anirut Malee is an exception. He masterfully defused a situation, which could have very likely ended much worse.
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