Hot 97 has severed ties with Pasquale Raucci, professionally known as Paddy Duke, following the airing of HBO’s documentary Storm Over Brooklyn spotlighting the 1989 murder of 16-year-old Yusef Hawkins.
The New York radio staple announced that it had fired Raucci in a tweet early on Sunday (Aug. 23).
“After watching HBO's Storm over Brooklyn, HOT97 was shocked and took swift action,” the statement read. “Paddy Duke is no longer employed by HOT97. The march for social justice continues.”
Raucci’s employment by the radio station came under criticism after his racist past was unearthed in HBO’s documentary, Storm Over Brooklyn, that aired earlier this month. According to the documentary, he was a part of a mob of white men that attacked Hawkins and his three friends.
The Black teens were traveling through Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a predominantly Italian-American neighborhood, to check out a used car that was up for sale when a mob confronted them. The mob thought they were part of another group of Black teens headed to a party at the home of a girl the mob believed was dating a Black man and attacked them. The Black teens were surrounded by the crowd, some of whom were carrying baseball bats.
Amid the fray, Hawkins was fatally shot, sparking protests across the city. Joseph Fama was later convicted for killing Hawkins while Raucci was acquitted of murder charges and convicted on a lesser count, according to a 1991 report in the New York Times.
Five years after the incident, and three years after his conviction, Raucci began to work for Emmis Communications, including on Angie Martinez's show, where he's been employed for the past 20 years.
Criticism has been ringing out across social media since the discovery, especially considering that host Ebro Darden spoke about the documentary mid-August.
The timing of Raucci’s termination also coincides with the 31st anniversary of Hawkin’s murder.
Thus far, none of the station’s on-air personalities have publicly commented on Raucci’s termination.
(Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)