A protestors confronts Baltimore Police officers with his hands up near Mondawmin Mall on April 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Md.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty

Baltimore ‘mom of the year’ speaks out

A Baltimore woman who has been praised on social media as “mom of the year” is speaking out about what really happened.

On Monday, as the city of Baltimore was rocked by riots and violence in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining an unexplained spinal injury in police custody, one woman was seen on live television confronting her son for taking part in the riots and repeatedly smacking him on the head.

The video of that woman, Toya Graham, quickly went viral on social media. Twitter users began to refer to her as #MomOfTheYear. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts even referred to her in a news conference late Monday, saying, “you had a mother who grabbed their child who had a hood on his head and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed.”

“I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight,” Batts added. “I think these were youth coming out of the high school and they thought it was cute to throw cinder blocks at the police department and address it that way.”

Graham spoke out on Tuesday and described to CBS what happened between her and her son in the now-famous video.

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

Watch the interview here: