The fiery riots that began in Baltimore Monday afternoon have entered their second night, but one young man is likely off the streets thanks to his "no-tolerant mother." The Baltimore mom who beat her rioting son on TV Monday spoke to CBS News and explained why she was so angry he participated in the vandalism. Her actions were praised by authorities and the Internet as a strong mother stepping in to stop her son from committing crimes.
Graham said she watched the riots come to her neighborhood when she was shocked to see her 16-year-old son Michael wearing a hoodie and mask and throwing objects at the police. She said she made eye contact with him and he knew he was in trouble. A single mom of six children, Toya Graham said she just lost it and wasn't aware of cameras when she confronted her son.
That's my only son, and at the end of the day, I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray.
Graham said rioting was not the way to get justice for Gray, a 25-year-old black man who sustained a fatal spinal injury while in police custody April 12. Gray died a week later. It was in the moments after his funeral that riots and looting swept across the Mondawmin neighborhood in Baltimore. Graham said even at age 15, Michael had taken a liking to the streets, and she didn't want that life for him.
There's some days I'll shield him in the house just so he won't go outside, and I know I can't do that for the rest of my life.
Authorities had asked for parents' help to keep their children off the streets. Most of the rioters Monday were youths who had just finished school. When asked whether strong mothers could intervene, Graham said she believed they could.
I think it wouldn't have been this worse as it was. ... But at the end of the day, they're going to make their own decision. As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that's where they supposed to be at.
Graham said even after they returned home together, they watched the riots unfold on TV. His friends told him on Facebook to not be mad at his mom.
Is he the perfect boy, no he's not. But he's mine. I'm just grateful I was able to get him home. ... I just hope, I'm not sure, but I hope that he understands the seriousness of what was going on last night.