On Wednesday evening, Fox News’ host Bill O’Reilly squared off with radio host Tavis Smiley over the controversial death of Eric Garner at the hands of New York City Police Department officers, and Smiley was left pretty surprised once he found out the actual statistics regarding black deaths by police across the nation.
Both men were able to agree on one thing – that Garner’s death is of concern, especially after watching the troubling video. However, that’s about all they were able to agree on, and after Smiley tried to claim that there’s an epidemic of officer-involved killings of black men, O’Reilly fired off a shocking statistic that left Smiley struggling to reply.
“I think this would’ve happened to a white guy doing the same thing,” O’Reilly said. “I don’t think it had to do with skin color. I think it had to do with poor judgments made by the group of police officers.”
Smiley disagreed, then listed off several other prominent cases where black victims were killed, including Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
“There is no respect for the humanity and the dignity for black life in this country,” he added.
At this point, O’Reilly asked Smiley if he knew how many black people were killed at the hands of police last year.
“Off the top of my head, I don’t,” Smiley replied.
“The number is 123,” O’Reilly said. “Do you know how many whites were killed? 326.”
“There are 43 million-plus black Americans,” he said. “123 were killed by police gunfire.”
“There isn’t an epidemic of this. … But when it happens it’s extremely troubling.”
A shocked Smiley tried to push O’Reilly on whether or not he thought there was a pattern within the issue, but O’Reilly said he didn’t because “the statistics don’t say there’s a pattern.”
O’Reilly repeated his point that 123 deaths out of 43 million is “miniscule,” but agreed that every death is indeed a tragedy.
“Three times as many whites are shot by police than blacks,” he added. “I don’t think it’s hunting down blacks.”
The full clip is below, courtesy of Fox, and it starts heating up around 6:30. Check it out and let us know what you think:
Courtesy of Mad World News