Hot 97 fires Paddy Duke after learning he was involved in Yusef Hawkins’ killing
Hot 97 has fired Paddy Duke, a longtime production director for the radio station, following Sunday's airing of HBO documentary Storm Over Brooklyn. The documentary revealed that Paddy, whose real name is Pasquale Raucci, was part of the mob that killed black teen Yusef Hawkins in 1989 and was one of eight men charged in the crime.
"After watching HBO's Storm over Brooklyn, HOT97 was shocked and took swift action," the station wrote on Twitter. "Paddy Duke is no longer employed by HOT97. The march for social justice continues."
Ebro Darden of Hot 97's show Ebro in the Morning also commented on Raucci's firing. "The realization is that this couldn't be swept under the rug, obviously," he said. "So he's been fired."
Darden also said that he had spoken to Raucci about Hawkins' murder, and that Raucci had told him he was a suspect. "He told me that he got swept up in the Yusef Hawkins situation," Darden said. "He also told me he didn't have nothing to do with it. This was—had to have been more than 8-10 years ago. I didn't know that he had a misdemeanor and I didn't know that his record had been expunged. Based on what I know about the NYPD, neighborhoods getting swept up around a murder that's normal procedure especially in the late '80s and '90s. ... And what am I going to say to a guy I work with? I don't believe you?"
"On behalf of our team on Ebro in the Morning, we apologize that this is even happening," Darden continued. "It was out of our control but we're here now and we apologize."
Watch a clip of the segment below.
Storm Over Brooklyn premiered earlier this month, and the announcement of Raucci's firing came on the 31st anniversary of Hawkins' death. He was shot to death while looking for a used car in the mostly white Bensonhurst neighborhood, attacked by a mob of some 30 white men because they believed Hawkins was dating a girl that they knew. Hawkins' death sparked protests across the city.
Ultimately, only one man from the mob, Joseph Fama, was convicted for killing Hawkins. Raucci was acquitted of murder charges and convicted on lesser counts which were dropped by the judge who, according to a New York times story from 1991, "sentenced him to probation and community service for possession of a bat as a weapon."
Raucci was hired by Hot 97's parent company, Emmis Communications, in 1994 -- just five years after Hawkins' death -- and has worked, according to Ebro, in the production department for the last 10 years.
You can watch the Storm Over Brooklyn trailer below.