[With global attention centered on Baltimore, Maryland amid the death of Freddie Gray this week, former Crips leader-turned-activist/peacemaker Eugene “Big U” Henley speaks to SOHH about footage of a Maryland woman beating her son for participating in the riots.]

Once you become a police officer, you have a license to kill. These police officers have bureaucracies that are put out to ‘check’ them but they’re run by ex-police officers and so it’s about where do you stand up?

Mom Beats Son On Video

How do you make them hear your voice? You have white people who are in the media like this [CNN News] woman and her thing is, even to this day, all black people are the same. The same brush.

It doesn’t matter. She thinks they’re all thugs and bases that off what the president said and she’s highlighting that conversation.

The only other thing you’re seeing on the news is this sister who beat her son and whooped his butt to get him out of rioting. I don’t look down on her negatively but at the same time when it’s time for him to go fight for her, how ready will he be to protect her?

I’m not going to stop my son. If my son is willing to fight, [I’ll let him.] What do we do? We send kids off to war for reasons that they have no understanding.

But she beat the living out of her son and it would have been child abuse but she’s being celebrated by white people. I’m not going to give her that. I’m sorry.

That’s the same son you would tell to defend your house if an invader ran into your house. That’s the same son who would be a coward and a punk if he didn’t do something and let someone walk into the door.

I’m not going to say that to my son. I’ve got three sons. One is twenty-seven, one is twenty-three and one if fifteen. I teach my son that the police does not like you and you have to be more educated and self-respecting than the people you are going to encounter.

You have to work five times harder and be five times smarter.

I have to teach my son that if the police pull you over, you show them your hands. This is how we have to teach our kids. The police scare me. They teach you that.

For more on Eugene “Big U” Henley, visit his website: www.developingoptions.org

Eugene is a council member of Gangster Chronicles , a media platform that gives current and ex-convicts the ability to share their stories, put an end to mythologies by unveiling hidden stories and reach the youth through literature. The roster consists of men who were leaders of well-known gangs, such as the Vicelords and Black Mafia, and even a man who inspired a character on the popular HBO series “The Wire.”