Momma Who Throws Live Smackdown Says; No Freddie Gray For My Son!

Toya Graham lays into her son Michael after seeing him with the protesters. CBS NEWS

The Baltimore mother who was caught on video Monday, smacking her son after she watched him throwing things at police officers told CBS News that she was only concerned about protecting him.

“He gave me eye contact. And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that. That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” Toya Graham stated to reporters, in reference to the man whose death spurned the violent protests turned riots in her city.

She told CBS News that she jumped to action after spotting her 16-year-old son Michael wearing a hoodie and mask amid the protesters and just lost control; “At that point, I just lost it,” said Graham. “I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that.”

Graham is a single mother with six children who publicly denounced the vandalism and violence against her city’s police officers.  She told reporters that rioting is no way to get justice for Freddie Gray, and she definitely does not want that type of life for her children.

“There’s some days that I’ll shield him in the house just so he won’t go outside and I know that I can’t do that for the rest of my life,” said Graham. “I’m a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, know I don’t play that.”

Graham’s reputation is known throughout the neighborhood, and it was this reputation that made her son “duck and run” as soon as he laid eyes on his mother.

The video has been widely circulated as people look for answers to the violence, and it even drew the attention of Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts. "I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight," he said, according to CBS Baltimore. Graham told CBS News she thinks the situation wouldn't have been as bad if there were more mothers out there monitoring their sons. But she acknowledged there are some circumstances that can prevent moms from from doing that. "We don't know where those mothers are at, a lot of mothers have to provide for their children," said Graham. "You can talk blue in your face to your children, but at the end of the day they gonna make their own decisions. As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that's where they supposed to be at." Commissioner Batts told reporters late Monday night that a bulk of the rioters who pelted officers with rocks and bricks, inciting a massive display of looting and vandalism across parts of West Baltimore were area high schoolers. "These are Baltimore youthful residents, a number of them came right out of the local high schools there on the other side of Mondawmin and started engaging in this," said Batts. "I think these were youth coming out of the high school and they thought it was cute to throw cinder blocks at the police department and address it that way." At least 20 police officers were injured in the violence and one person was critically hurt in a fire, according to authorities. Police made 235 arrests, including 34 juveniles. The streets were calmer Tuesday as the National Guard deployed. A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remained in effect.

Toya Graham CBS NEWS

“He knew he was in trouble,” said Graham. “He said when ‘I seen you,’ he said, ‘ma, my instinct was to run.'”

She told reporters that after they got home, they sat and watched the news coverage of the riots and demonstrations on television, and as her reaction started to go viral on social media, her sons Facebook page started receiving comments, many of them in support of her actions.

 

Police Commissioner Batts stated late Monday night that he believed the bulk of the rioters who were throwing rocks and bricks at officers and inciting a massive display of looting and vandalism across parts of West Baltimore were area high schoolers.

“These are Baltimore youthful residents, a number of them came right out of the local high schools there on the other side of Mondawmin and started engaging in this,” said Batts. “I think these were youth coming out of the high school and they thought it was cute to throw cinder blocks at the police department and address it that way.”

We can only hope that more mothers will start taking this type of interest in the activities of their children, start questioning where they are going and what they are doing, in hopes that we can teach our younger generation the “right” way to voice our grievances.  If you want your children to grow up responsible, law-abiding citizens you have to take an interest in their activities and make them accountable for their actions.

Sparing the rod and spoiling the child, will not a productive citizen make.

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Patrick James
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.

Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams

About the Author

Patrick James
Patrick James
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef. Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak. "Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air." ~ John Quincy Adams
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