A year on, Inside Edition asked Toya Graham what, if anything, she would have done differently on April 27, 2015.
Graham became famous after images of her scolding her son for throwing rocks at police during the unrest that followed the death of Freddie Gray went viral. She was interviewed on CNN and received a call from Oprah. Then-Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said he wished he “had more parents that took charge of their kids tonight.”
She was a convenient icon for those who would like to believe that Baltimore’s deep-seated problems could be solved by more aggressive parenting. Her actions were assumed by many to be motivated by her disappointment in her son’s behavior, when according to Graham, it was her fear that he might wind up “a Freddie Gray.”
Graham told Inside Edition if she had it to do all over again, she would have acted the same, but she would have spoken differently. “I wouldn’t have used so much foul language,” Graham said.
She reiterated her fears for her son: “I watch mothers on the TV begging for answers [to] why their sons are being killed and I just don’t want to be that mother,” Graham said.