'Mom Of The Year' Who Stopped Son From Rioting Explains Her Actions (Video)
Toya Graham made national headlines as the mom who stopped her young son from rioting in Baltimore.
During an interview, Graham explained she'd left an appointment after seeing gathering rioters on television.
Although her 16-year-old son had hidden his face behind a mask, she recognized his sweatpants and the pair locked eyes. Michael reportedly has a history of hanging with a tough group of friends.
According to Graham, it was the sight of Michael facing police officers, rock in hand, that enraged her.
She told CBS News,
I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that. I just hope, I'm not sure, but I hope that he understands the seriousness of what was going on last night.
Graham's action was publicly applauded by Anthony Batts, Baltimore's police commissioner, in a press conference yesterday.
He said many of the city's rioters came straight out of area high schools.
Not everyone agrees with Graham's choices, however. Mothers Against Police Brutality founder Collette Flanagan, whose son was killed by police in 2013, told ThinkProgress the mom shouldn't have stopped Michael from backing protests.
I think she has sent the wrong message to her son, who will probably never ever protest again because that experience with your own mother beating and berating you on TV…. We need these young people to protest. It's their lives that are in peril.