UNCUFF THE INNOCENT (the "Doing Business As" name of Unite Nationwide for Cops Under Fire Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity organization working to protect innocent law enforcement officers and other innocent individuals from wrongful allegations and convictions so that officers can safely protect the public and the wrongfully accused and convicted will regain freedom and receive support.
The organization was incorporated on Oct. 23, 2017, as an Iowa Nonprofit Corporation with a volunteer Board of Directors including four former law enforcement officers, two of whom are exonerees who each spent more than 20 years wrongfully imprisoned.
Because law enforcement officers and exonerees are the roots from which UNCUFF THE INNOCENT grew, the organization is both supportive of police and supportive of the public, encouraging them to join forces to end wrongful convictions.
We provide legal defense funds and further investigation to falsely accused and wrongfully convicted individuals, financial aid to the exonerated in need, body camera funds to U.S. law enforcement agencies, and educational material about wrongful convictions to the public.
UNCUFF THE INNOCENT is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. We have received recognition as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax identification number is 82-3208410.
All charitable contributions, for which no goods or services were received, are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Please consult with your tax adviser or the IRS to determine the extent to which a contribution is tax-deductible.
When you donate to UNCUFF THE INNOCENT, your gift helps uncuff the innocent! Every gift is greatly appreciated and makes a positive difference in the lives of the falsely accused and wrongfully convicted.
The Mission of UNCUFF THE INNOCENT is to free the innocent and increase public safety by preventing and overturning the wrongful conviction of police officers and other innocent individuals.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our volunteer Board of Directors consists of four former law enforcement officers, two of whom are exonerees who each spent more than 20 years wrongfully imprisoned, and a biologist with a background as a genetics researcher and victim’s advocate. Learn more about our Board members below.
MICHAEL M. DANOVICH
Mike Danovich is a former LEO from Portland, Oregon now living in Arizona. During his time in Law Enforcement he's been on several task forces and specialty assignments including under-cover and plain clothes details. He's well versed in interrogation and investigative techniques and is an advocate for all law enforcement officers facing wrongful criminal allegations.
Brian E. Franklin
Brian Franklin is a former Fort Worth, Texas police officer. He was an officer for over 10 years, which included being a training officer. He was wrongfully convicted of rape in February 1995, and spent over 21 years wrongfully incarcerated in prison. His first habeas corpus application was denied by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in April 2002, even though after a several day hearing the trial court determined that Brian was actually innocent in February 2000, and again in November 2001. Brian's conviction was reversed and he was released in May 2016. He was retried and acquitted by a jury in December 2016. Brian currently works as a nursing assistant in a State mental hospital in Texas. Brian is actively seeking wrongful imprisonment compensation from the State of Texas.
ERICA B. Fuchs
Secretary and Treasurer
Erica Fuchs is a scientist from Iowa with a B.A. in Biology from Harvard University and an M.S. in Botany from Iowa State University, with a minor in Biochemistry. She has performed DNA cloning, sequencing, and genetic engineering in a university biotechnology lab. Erica has advocated for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence while volunteering and working at assault care centers in the past, and she currently volunteers her time to help wrongfully convicted individuals.
John Paolucci is a retired Detective Sergeant from NYPD who worked his last eight years in the Forensic Investigations Division, four of them as a Crime Scene Unit supervisor. He was the first ever to command the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) Liaison Unit where he managed all DNA evidence in NYC and trained thousands of state, local, and federal investigators in DNA evidence collection and documentation. He developed a strong alliance between the Office of Chief Medical Examiner Forensic Biology Department and NYPD. He also worked as a Narcotics Undercover and Patrol Officer in the Housing Projects of the South Bronx. He is currently the president of Forensics 4 Real Inc., where he provides forensic support to international and domestic investigations and expert analysis of crime scenes, specializing in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and shooting incident reconstruction. He trains students and law enforcement in forensic evidence and crime scene investigations at various venues including the Henry Lee Academy and has worked on real crime shows, appearing on both the ID Channel and A& E Network as well as numerous radio and print venues. John is also an adjunct Professor at Mercy College in the Bronx, teaching students about Crime Scene Investigations and Criminalistics www.forensics4real.com.
Dr. Ray Spencer, Ph.D.
Dr. Ray Spencer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Psychology. Dr. Spencer was a U. S. Air Force Air Traffic Controller. Upon being honorably discharged, he was hired by the U.S. Marshal’s Service as one of the original Federal Air Marshals. He later transferred into federal narcotics. He was based out of Los Angeles but worked up and down the west coast in an undercover marine detail interdicting major loads of narcotics coming into the country by boats. He eventually left federal law enforcement and became a police officer in Vancouver, Washington. In 1985 he was set up and sent to prison with a sentence of 212 years. It took 25 years to finally clear his name and have all charges dropped.