Yusuf Hawkins was just 16 years of age when an angry mob of Italian-American youth shot and killed him in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn in 1989. On the anniversary of his death this past Sunday (August 23), Hot 97 fired executive Paddy Duke after it was revealed he was among the mob that carried out the crime against Hawkins.
Hot 97, via its Twitter account, announced the firing of Paddy Duke, real name Pasquale Raucci, after it was revealed that he was a member of the 10 to 30 reported white youth that attacked Hawkins. The connection was made via the HBO documentary Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn and apparently, Hot 97 did not know Raucci was a member of the mob and promptly let him go.
“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,” read the tweet featuring an image of Hawkins.
According to Raucci’s LinkedIn page, he began working for Hot 97’s parent company Emmis Communications in 1994 and held the title of Commercial Production Director. Raucci was 19 when he and the mob attacked Hawkins, who was in Bensonhurst to check out a used vehicle.
Dallas Penn was one of the early voices to call out Raucci and his questionable past via social media and has continued to rail against Hot 97.
As explained in several accounts of the incident, the mob believed that a Black boy was dating a girl in their neighborhood, thus carrying out the racist attack against Hawkins and his friends.
Raucci was cleared of murder and manslaughter charges but convicted on eight lesser counts, which included three counts of unlawful imprisonment, four counts of menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.