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De Blasio disagrees with Bratton on Moynihan study linking crime to black families

New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton,

New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, center, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, hold a news conference at the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood to unveil the NYPD's new neighborhood policing plan called "One City: Safe and Fair- Everywhere", Thursday, June 25, 2015. Credit: Charles Eckert

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that he disagrees with his police commissioner's linkage of crime to the findings of a controversial, 50-year-old study by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan on disintegration of African-American families.

A day earlier, Police Commissioner William Bratton said the report -- "The Negro Family: The Case For National Action," written by Moynihan when he worked for President Lyndon Johnson's administration -- was "prescient."

De Blasio said during a City Hall news conference that he respects Bratton, but "I happen to disagree on this one."

"That report is literally half a century old, and I think society has changed a lot. There are some assumptions in that report that just don't hold today."

Bratton cited the Moynihan report while on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday.

"I had the occasion over the weekend to read Senator Moynihan's famous treatise from the sixties," he said. "Talk about being prescient about what was going to happen, in black society, in terms of . . . the disintegration of family, the disintegration of values, and it's gone beyond just the black community," according to a transcript by Politico New York.

Moynihan's report, written before he became a four-term Democratic senator from New York, said out-of-wedlock births in black communities hurt economic and social progress. Critics of the Moynihan study have called it patronizing, saying it wrongly blamed blacks for their victimhood and overlooks historic, systemic discrimination.

Wednesday, Bratton said that his remarks were not aimed at black families and lamented that life was cheap to some people of all races.

"Unfortunately [among young] people in the African-American community, the Latino community, the white community, that among younger people the value structure is not there," he said. "We have too many young people who are killing each other for nothing."

With Alison Fox

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