Baltimore mother Toya Graham wasn’t trying to go viral. But when she slapped her son on national television she became an unwitting symbol of the lengths a Black mother will go to protect her child.
“”He gave me eye contact. And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that. That’s my only son and at the end of the day I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” Graham told CBS News.
Graham, a single mother of six, says when she saw her son, 16-year-old Michael she just lost it.
“I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that,” she says. “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,” said Graham. “I’m a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me, know I don’t play that.”
Apparently despite his participation in the rioting, Michael is more afraid of his mother than the Baltimore police. Given his mother’s reputation, he says, he told her when he saw her, his first instinct was to run.
Watch Graham’s entire interview below:
(Photo: CBS News screenshot)