Talk show host Tavis Smiley briefly threw Fox News host Bill O’Reilly for a loop with a pointed question on police violence.
The pair were engaged in a discussion Wednesday night on recent cases of police brutality, which O’Reilly shrugged off as isolated incidents that drew undue attention because they were captured on video, reported Mediaite.
“My question to you, Bill O’Reilly, is: How many isolated incidents equal a pattern?” Smiley said.
The bombastic O’Reilly was briefly silenced before admitting he couldn’t answer, and Smiley accused him of dodging the question.
“It’s an impossible question – I’m not dodging – it’s an impossible question to answer with any certainty,” O’Reilly said, comparing a statistic showing 135 black men shot by police in one recent year to the 1.2 million police officers in the U.S.
Smiley said he did not dispute O’Reilly’s statistics, but rather his interpretation of their meaning.
“When you try to tell black people every time one of these incidents happens and another precious young life is lost, that it’s just an isolated incident -- that’s offensive, No. 1,” he said.
“But No. 2, as you said earlier, there are far more white people maimed by cops every day in this country than black people, and this is why this ought to be a concern for all Americans – not a color-coded issue,” Smiley continued. “We’ve got to respect and revel in the humanity of all citizens.
“And I have to stick up for the cops, because generally I think they’re doing a good job,” O’Reilly said.
Watch the entire segment posted online by Fox News: