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Published On: Thu, Apr 30th, 2015

Baltimore mom, Toya Graham, discusses slapping him out of protest, ’embarrassing himself’

The Baltimore mother who slapped her son several times and pulled him out of a protest, making a powerful stance for families across the country, spoke to CNN on Wednesday, saying that she wasn’t concerned that she might be embarrassing her son – “He was embarrassing himself…”

“Not at all,” Toya Graham told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360˚” in an interview that aired Wednesday night. “He was embarrassing himself by wearing that mask and that hoodie and doing what he was doing.”

The video of Graham grabbing her son, Michael Singleton, and slapping him with a right hand as CNN affiliate WMAR recorded has led to the Internet calling Graham #motheroftheyear.

Baltimore mom pulling son out of freddie Gray riotMany people have praised the unemployed, single mother of six for going to the Mondawmin Mall and getting her son away from the violence.

Graham told Cooper that she saw her son with a brick in his hand, and she lost control of her emotions and told him to drop it.

“I did (get emotional). You know, once he threw that rock down I said, ‘You weren’t brought up like this,’ ” Graham said.

He’s not a perfect child, but he’s also not a thug, she said.

“She didn’t want me to get in trouble (with the) law. She didn’t want me to be like another Freddie Gray,” Singleton said, referring to the 25-year-old man who died of a severe spinal injury after being arrested by Baltimore police.

Gray’s death has sparked daily protests over police brutality. There have also been riots and looting that prompted the city to put a curfew into effect.

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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