Angry Mom 'Didn't Want Son to Be Freddie Gray'

She pulled son out of Baltimore protest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2015 1:18 AM CDT

The woman labeled "Mom of the Year" for dragging her son away from rioting in Baltimore says she didn't want her only son to end up like Freddie Gray. Toya Graham, who was filmed smacking and berating her 16-year-old son, tells CBS News that she "lost it" after she saw him among a crowd throwing objects at police. The single mother of six says she doesn't believe attacking police is any way to get justice for Gray, and she wanted to protect her son. "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," she says. "I'm a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me know I don't play that."

One of Graham's five daughters tells CNN her mom "has always been tough"—and didn't have any trouble spotting the boy in the crowd, even with a hoodie and mask on. She says her brother is grateful and understands that their mom was just trying to keep him alive. Graham says she thinks the situation on Monday would not have been as bad if more mothers had acted like her, but she understands that many may have been busy providing for their families—and there is only so much a mother can do. "You can talk blue in your face to your children, but at the end of the day they gonna make their own decisions," she tells CBS. "As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that's where they supposed to be at." (Read more Baltimore stories.)

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