Saturday, 2 May 2015

'Hero mum' hailed for smacking son who joined riots

The Straits Times, 1 May 2015

BALTIMORE - Among the startling images to emerge from riots in Baltimore this week, one sticks out: a fed-up mother smacking her son repeatedly for joining the violent demonstrations.

Ms Toya Graham caught her 16-year-old son Michael in a hooded sweatshirt and a mask at Monday's riots, which transformed the city into a battle zone of torched cars, blazing buildings and looted stores.

Cameras caught Ms Graham delivering a harsh - and very public - punishment to her son, belting him several times as she drags him away from the angry crowd.

"I just lost it," said Ms Graham, a single mother of six. "I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that," she told CBS News on Tuesday.

More than 250 people were arrested after the unrest, in which 20 police officers were wounded. Baltimore has been the scene of daily demonstrations since Mr Freddie Gray's death from a severe spinal injury on April 19, a week after he was arrested.

Ms Graham said she had her son's best interests in mind. "That's my only son and at the end of the day I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray."

The video of Ms Graham smacking her son has lit up the Internet, earning her the title "hero mum", and even caught the attention of Baltimore's police commissioner Anthony Batts, who commended the discipline.

"I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight," he said, according to CBS.


No comments:

Post a Comment