Washington (CNN) -- Syndicated columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote this week that young black men are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than young white men. Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly had a much different take on his show Monday night, offering that more whites are killed by police than blacks.
"In 2012, 123 African-Americans were shot dead by police. There are currently more than 43 million blacks living in the U.S.A.," O'Reilly said on his program. "
Same year, 326 whites were killed by police bullets. Those are the latest stats available." Two dramatically different statistics -- and they could both be right.
That reality, in part a result of weak local reporting and national data gathering efforts on police homicides, has long frustrated researchers and analysts who say they need to know more about those shootings.
The site reported: "The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police."
What's key is that ProPublica narrowed the scope of its analysis to the 15-to-19 age range, and adjusted for population differences to account for the fact that more whites live in the United States than blacks -- both key differences from O'Reilly's approach.