It was one of the most brutal racially charged murders in the history of New York City. In August of 1989, sixteen year old Yusuf Hawkins was shot and killed in Bensonhurst Brooklyn by an angry mob of white men. Wielding baseball bats and shouting racial epithets, the mob chased Hawkins and his friends down before shooting Hawkins twice in the chest. Through the help of the communities most powerful voices at the time, reverend Al Sharpton and Minister Louis Farrakhan, Yusuf’s murder became one of the biggest stories across the country. It has had a profound impact on the way we look at racial division, and essentially shaped our dialogue about race issues by putting a spotlight on what Black Americans had been dealing with in New York for many years.
HBO recently released a documentary entitled “Storm Over Brooklyn” documenting the murder of Yusuf Hawkins. New details emerged that link a long time Hot 97 employee to the mob of white men who lured Hawkins to his death. Pasquale Raucci, was known over the airwaves as Paddy Duke. Raucci had been employed by the station since 1994 through Emmis communications. Receiving the job just five years after the brutal murder. At the time, Raucci was cleared of murder charges and convicted on a lesser count, legally scrubbing him of any connection to the murder.
Upon learning of the details Hot 97 released a statement, and subsequently terminated Raucci: “After watching HBO’s Storm over Brooklyn, HOT97 was shocked and took swift action. Paddy Duke is no longer employed by HOT97. The march for social justice continues.”
Raucci joining the station in 1994 would put him in the company right around the time that they made the switch to a Hip-Hop format. Upon scanning his since deleted LinkedIn page, you’d find that Raucci was heavily involved in the award winning radio personality Angie Martinez’s show during her tenure at Hot97. Twitter was also able to uncover a cameo appearance by Raucci in Angie Martinez’s music video “Dem Thangs”, from her short lived rap career.
It’s absolutely devastating that these details only came to surface today. This man was able to eat off of Black culture for 25 years, at one of Hip-Hop’s flagship stations. His name was public knowledge, so it leaves a lot of speculation as to how this was able to slip under the cracks for so long.
[Pasquale "Paddy Duke" Raucci in Angie Martinez music video]