You saw it. You gave her the thumbs up. And many are calling her mom of the year.

Now, the Baltimore woman who gave her riot wannabe son some old school lovin’ -- with a smack to the head -- is speaking out.

“That's my only son and at the end of the day I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray," Toya Graham told the CBS Evening News.

She described how it came to be that she opened up a can of whoopass on 16-year-old Michael when she spotted him in a black hood and wearing a mask with other rioting protesters.


"At that point, I just lost it," she told CBS. said Graham. "I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that."

Graham, a single mom with six children, denounced the vandalism and violence against police officers. She said rioting in Baltimore is no way to go about getting justice for Freddie Gray and that she doesn't want that life for her son.

That’s when she marched on him.

And as she approached him, “he gave me eye contact.”


“At that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that,” she said, she did what Baltimore’s top cop said he wished other parents will do.

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

Graham is a single mom of six and says rioting over Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died after suffering a major spine injury, is not the right way to get justice.


She said she knows she can’t always be there to keep Michael on the right path, however.

“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."

"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," Graham told CBS.

But for now, she’s in charge.

"I'm a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, know I don't play that."

Overall, she wants her son to know she loves him.

"Friends and everybody making comments and saying you know, you shouldn't be mad at your mother, you should give her a hug," said Graham.

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