Pasquale “Paddy Duke” Raucci, the commercial programming director for New York hip-hop radio station Hot 97, has been fired from his position after the HBO documentary, Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, showed his alleged ties to Hawkins’ death. The announcement of Raucci’s firing comes 31 years to the day that Hawkins was killed on August 23, 1989.
“After watching HBO’s Storm over Brooklyn, HOT97 was shocked and took swift action. Paddy Duke is no longer employed by HOT97,” a tweet from the station read. “The march for social justice continues.”
The documentary, directed by Muta’Ali Muhammad, premiered earlier this month and detailed the shooting death of 16-year-old Brownsville, Brooklyn, native Hawkins, who was killed after an attack by a large group of white men in 1989 while visiting the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn to check out a car with three of his friends. The white men confronted the group on suspicion that one of them was dating a white girl they knew. Eight men were eventually charged in the case. Joseph Fama, who was named as the gunman, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 32 years. Keith Mondello, who was one of the ringleaders of the mob, was acquitted of murder but was convicted on lesser charges and sentenced to 5 ⅓ to 16 years.
Raucci was cleared on murder charges but was convicted on a lesser charge. However, he got a job with Hot 97’s parent company, Emmis Communications, in 1994 and has been there ever since. He reportedly worked on The Angie Martinez Show as a producer per his now-deleted LinkedIn profile.
Hot 97 personality Ebro Darden responded to the news on Twitter, writing “We’re all surprised, angry and very sad that our station had ties to this racist event 30yrs ago. I apologize for this pain today.” He also added, “I feel apologies are needed even when you did not mean harm. HOT97 has hurt people with this revelation...Even when you inherit some bullshit you have to take accountability and try to rectify the issue.”
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