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The hand gestures used by the teen have been popularized on TikTok and "represent violence at home – I need help – domestic violence," the sheriff's office said. A witness in a car driving behind Brick's Toyota called 911 upon recognizing the hand signals and told dispatchers the teen appeared to be in "distress."
The Canadian Women's Foundation says an international, universal signal for help in a case of domestic violence or other distress can be made with one hand. Face your palm forward and with your thumb tucked in, then close your other fingers over your thumb to "trap" it.
When this becomes more widely known, I'd be willing to bet we'll see a large number of idiots who will call 911 every time they see a kid wave. "It looked like the 'distress' signal!"