Toya Graham, who can be seen in a viral video smacking her 16-year-old son,
Michael, and cursing at him to stop participating in the rioting in Baltimore on Monday, told "CBS Evening News"
on Tuesday that she did not want her only son to become a fatality.
Graham said she was nearby where teenage rioters were throwing objects at police when she saw Michael walk across the street wearing a hoodie and mask.
"At that point I just lost it," she said. "And he gave me eye contact. … That's my only son. And at the end of the day I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray."
The death of 25-year-old Gray earlier this month has sparked protests that culminated in violence on Monday after Gray funeral.
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"But to stand up there and vandalize police officers, that's not justice. I'm a single mom. I have six children. I just choose not to live like that no more. And I don’t want that to happen," Graham said.
She said she was shocked and angry to see Michael participating.
"There's some days that I'll shield him in the house just so he won't go outside," she said. "And I know I can't do that for the rest of my life. He's 16 years old. He's into the streets."
Michael told his mother, "Ma, when I seen you my instinct was to run," Graham quoted her son. "I'm a no-tolerant mother. Everybody that knows me knows I don't play that. He knew. He knew he was in trouble."
Graham said more mothers need to take control of their children like she did, but knows some have situations that make that difficult.
"You can talk blue in your face to your children, but at the end of the day they're going to make their own decisions," she said. "As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that's where they supposed to be at."
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