Pastor of Baltimore 'Mom of the Year' Praises Her for Smacking Son to Stop Him From Rioting; Says She's 'Mom of the Century'

Baltimore Riot
Young people throw rocks at police officers during a clash at Mondawmin Mall on April 27, 2015, in Baltimore, Md. |

Baltimore mother Toya Graham, who is being called "mom of the year" after being captured on camera smacking her 16-year-old son to get him away from protests, should be "mom of the century," her pastor said, urging all moms to follow her example.

"I wish all of the parents of Baltimore would take on her spirit and go pull your children out of the streets," Pastor Jamal Bryant told Inside Edition.

She ought to be "mom of the century," said the pastor, adding he will send her a bouquet of flowers on Mother's Day.

"I hope I don't do anything wrong in front of her," Bryant said, jokingly. "I don't want her choking me out or pulling me out! She's no holds barred. Those are the kinds of moms we used to have, that we need to have again."

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts earlier thanked and applauded Graham for her actions, speaking on television.

"These are Baltimore youthful residents, a number of them came right out of the local high schools there on the other side of Mondawmin and started engaging in this. I think these were youth coming out of high school and they thought it was cute to throw cinder blocks at the police department and address it that way. And if you saw in one scene you had one 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," Batts said. "I wish I had more parents that took charge of their kids out there tonight."

The protest erupted Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young man who died in police custody on April 19. Gray, 25, suffered fatal spinal injuries.

More than 200 people were arrested for rioting and 20 police officers injured.

Baltimore's newly elected State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday that Gray's death had been ruled a "homicide" and six police officers involved in his "unlawful arrest" had been criminally charged and warrants have been issued for their arrests.

Graham's encounter with her son, Michael, was captured by the media and went viral, with millions of views on YouTube.

Graham earlier told CBS News, "That's my only son and at the end of the day, I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray."

She added she just wants to keep her children safe, even if that means being unpopular.

"There are some days 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, you know. We don't know where those mothers are at, a lot of mothers have to provide for their children. You can talk blue in your face to your children, but at the end of the day they gonna make their own decisions. As parents we just have to follow through to make sure that's where they supposed to be at."

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