Baltimore mom who smacked son during riots: 'I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray'

Toya Graham's response to the Baltimore police request that parents take their children out of the thick of violent protests has some people calling her "mom of the year."

Mom of the year? Woman drags son away from protests

Mother disciplines rioting son

8 years ago
Duration 0:42
In the midst of the Baltimore riots Monday night, a mother saw her son throwing rocks at police on television and that didn't sit well with her

Toya Graham's response to the Baltimore police request that parents take their children out of the thick of violent protests has some people calling her "mom of the year."

On Monday evening, Baltimore police tweeted a plea to parents to remove their kids from demonstrations protesting the death of Freddie Gray. The protests had turned violent Monday afternoon. During the violence, at least 15 police officers were injured and people set vehicles and buildings on fire. Nearly 200 individuals were arrested.

Police said several juveniles were among the aggressors.

Graham's son, Michael, was among the protesters when his mother showed up to take him home.

Several news organizations and bystanders filmed the encounter, which shows Graham yelling at her son, one of her six children, and hitting him several times around his head.

At one point, she grabs him by the scruff of the neck and pushes him away from the protests.

"I turn around and I look in this crowd and my son is actually coming across the street with this hoodie on and a mask. At that point I just lost it," Graham told CBS News. "That's my only son, and at the end of the day, I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray. But to stand up there and vandalize police officers, that's not justice."

"I was angry," Graham went on to say. "I was shocked 'cause you never want to see your child out there doing that." 

According to some social media accounts of the incident, Graham was angry because she believed her son had been throwing bricks or rocks at police. 

The mother was reportedly watching television at home when she saw her son throw the rocks and decided to go out and get him herself.

Many appreciated her no-nonsense response to his alleged behaviour.

One mother said she would likely do something similar if her teenage sons were involved in a situation that provoked police.

Some couldn't help but make fun of the young man.

Others failed to see the humour in the situation.

Some even found it ironic that the woman would use violence considering the situation in Baltimore.