The mother of a 16-year-old boy caught rioting in Baltimore this week has spoken to CBS News about the video of her smacking her son that has gone viral online.
Toya Graham found her son wearing a hoodie and mask during rioting that broke out in Baltimore on Monday, and she yanked him out of the crowd to scold him.
A bystander videotaped Graham hitting her son on the head while yelling at him for “doing this dumb s–t.”
“I turned around and I look in this crowd, and my son is actually coming across the street with this hoodie on and a mask,” Graham told CBS. “At that point, I just lost it. … That’s my only son. And at the end of the day, I don’t want him to be a Freddie Grey.”
Baltimore residents have been protesting the death of 25-year-old Grey since last week, but the protests turned into violent riots on Monday afternoon following Grey’s burial.
Police arrested Grey “without force or incident” on April 12 after finding a switchblade knife on him. While in police custody, he suffered a “medical emergency” that severed his spine 80% at his neck, according to a statement from his family attorney, William “Billy” Murphy Jr.
It’s still unclear exactly what happened to cause the injury, but many in the community suspect it’s a case of police brutality, a reportedly common occurrence in Baltimore.
Many of the protesters who participated in the riots this week were teenagers, police officials said.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts referenced the video of Graham berating her son when he talked to reporters about the riots Monday night.
“I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight,” he said.
Graham said vandalizing police “is not justice.”
“I’m a no-tolerant mother,” she said. “Everybody that knows me, know I don’t play that.”
Here’s the full interview:
And the original video:
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