It took two decades but it seems culture vulture karma has caught up with New York radio personality Paddy Duke. Hot 97 radio has finally fired Pasquale Raucci aka Paddy Duke for his part in the racist attack and subsequent murder of Yusuf Hawkins in 1989.
It was 31 years ago that 16-year-old Black teenager Hawkins was murdered in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a predominantly Italian-American working-class neighborhood.
Hawkins and three friends had gone to Bensonhurst to inquire about a used 1982 Pontiac automobile that was for sale. They were attacked by a crowd of 10 to 30 white youths, many of them wielding baseball bats. One, armed with a handgun, shot Hawkins twice in the chest, killing him.
One of those teens — not the one that pulled the trigger — was Raucci, who went on to become Hot 97 producer, The Shadow League reported.
The new HBO documentary, “Storm Over Brooklyn,” revealed that Raucci was one of those questioned in the murder. He had been arraigned the same day in the state supreme court with the lead troublemaker, Keith Mondello.
Raucci made a 15-minute confession to participating in the mob-scene hate crime, according to the Associated Press.
Raucci was convicted of three counts of unlawful imprisonment, but these felony convictions were dropped by the judge, who sentenced him to probation and community service for possession of a bat as a weapon, according to the New York Times. Raucci was cleared on the murder charges.
When he went on to work for Hot 97 in 1994, Raucci never disclosed his association with the murder. And ironically, Raucci, who was part of a racist mob, started making money from hip-hop and Black American culture. He was fulfilling the definition of a culture vulture.
Raucci was hired by the famed radio station’s parent company in 1994 and later became its commercial programming director, according to the Root.
After social media outrage, Raucci was fired on Aug. 23 by the station’s management.
A statement released by Hot 97 read, “After watching HBO’s ‘Storm Over Brooklyn,’ Hot 97 was shocked and took swift action. Paddy Duke is no longer employed by Hot 97,” Page Six reported.
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Longtime radio personality Ed Lover tweeted, “All of my years at @HOT97 I had no idea until this recent documentary came out that Paddy Duke had anything to do with the murder of #YusufHawkins This is so sickening and sad!”
Ebro from the “Ebro in The Morning” show apologized on Twitter, posting, “If you just tuned in… Paddy Duke has been fired. Were all surprised, angry, and very sad that our station had ties to this racist event 30yrs ago. I apologize for this pain today.”
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