Glenn Johnson

    Crime Contributor
  • CACP head cautions against reading too much into declining crime rate

    While the crime stats seem to indicate a kinder, gentler society, they fail to tell the full picture of what’s happening on the streets, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police president says.

  • You won't see a blue moon like this again until 2018

    In fact, this Friday July 31,st will actually be a blue moon when it turns full at 6:43a.m. ET. That's because it will be the second full moon in the month.

  • Car and camera hacking illustrate how vulnerable users are

    Reports this week of car hacking in Missouri and of camera hacking in southwestern Ontario illustrate just how vulnerable users of wirelessly connected devices can be.

  • Backyard hens ruffle feathers in picturesque N.S. community

    A simple desire to keep a few chickens in one man’s backyard in Liverpool , N.S., has ruffled the feathers of a lot of people in this picturesque community.

  • Taxpayers apathetic that Ottawa spending millions to fight Khadr case: lawyer

    Omar Khadr’s lawyer says the Canadian government – despite losing 10 straight court challenges – continues to pull out all the stops and spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars to keep his client in jail. Khadr, who was once held at Guantanamo Bay, is to be released on bail after a recent court ruling in Canada. “We now have two hearings - first is the stay of proceedings and then in the afternoon we have an already scheduled hearing,” Khadr’s lawyer, Dennis Edney said in a telephone interview Monday. The federal government’s application is to be heard by Alberta’s Court of Appeal just hours before another court hearing is scheduled to decide on his release conditions.

  • Report on sexual misconduct in Canadian Forces has military officials under fire

    Top brass from the Canadian Armed Forces were on the defensive Thursday following the release of an external investigation that found a prevalence of under-reported sexual harassment and assault and a culture of “misogyny” in the military. “There is an undeniable problem of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the CAF, which requires direct and sustained action,” said the report by retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Marie Deschamps. Another major problem was that military leaders didn’t know how bad the problem was in their ranks, the report suggests. “While there may be logic to this structure in many areas of military life, in the case of sexual harassment and assault the unfortunate effect is to stifle complaints and leave problems unresolved.

  • Caught on tape: Recent footage of police activities ignites debate over use of video

    In the 24 years since the videotape showing Rodney King’s vicious beating by police officers became public, the debate about the use of taped evidence seems to be far from resolved. King was an American taxi driver who became nationally known after being beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991. Polls at the time suggested 90 per cent of L.A. residents believed the tape showed police used excessive force, but a jury concluded the video alone wasn’t enough to convict the officers, resulting in rioting and dozens of deaths.  A second trial would see two officers convicted and sent to prison. For their part, many police departments in the U.S. have been using video evidence from dash cameras for decades to add visual evidence for traffic stops and other cases.

  • ‘Life and Death Row’ documentary stirs up support for convicted U.S. killer of eight family members

    Murder convictions don’t usually result in public sympathy for the accused, but the case of Gary Heinze Jr. has sparked public calls for a new trial following a documentary that revealed flaws in the police investigation and trial. Various groups have sprung up on Facebook and a Twitter hastag and handle have been created to raise support for Heinze to hire a new legal team. Heinze was convicted in the 2009 beating death of eight members of his family at the New Hope trailer park in Brunswick, Ga. He was 22 at the time. After the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the judge removed a female juror who felt Heinze was not guilty, replacing her with an alternate juror.  Heinze was convicted in October 2013 of eight counts of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

  • Maritime deer population struggling as snowpack lingers

    In Nova Scotia, the concern has shifted from the weather to the stress placed on the deer population due to the snow cover. Andrew Hebda, curator of zoology at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, said he has not seen official reports on the dead deer, but he said people often call the museum about these incidents, which are recorded. Through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia there was heavier snowfall and Western PEI got over five metres of snow. One issue that has come up in Nova Scotia in localized reports – especially on the South Shore – is of deer aborting their fetus, possibly because of difficulty finding food in isolated areas with snowpack.

  • Mental health workers pair with police officers in Hamilton for crisis calls

    Police are increasingly finding themselves called to deal with individuals who are having a crisis and need to see mental health professionals. News stories about someone with a mental health problem or issue being involved in a confrontation with police officers are all too common. Others are taken into custody in a jail system that isn’t equipped to handle mental health issues. The good news is police services across Canada are increasingly educating officers about dealing with mental health issues because police are often the first people called.

  • Duffy’s charges carry significant potential prison sentence

    Suspended Senator Mike Duffy faces a maximum of 212 years in potential prison sentences in addition to possible fines if convicted on all 31 charges. The government moved in 2011 to allow consecutive sentences in Canada – but only in multiple murder cases. As for Duffy, a conviction on even one of the 31 charges could potentially send him to federal prison with a two-year sentence. Expense claims in relation to his residency – Duffy has been charged with one count each of fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust.

  • Ontario review of solitary confinement a step in the right direction, says federal prison watchdog

    A move by the government of Ontario to review the controversial practice of solitary confinement is a good first step toward eliminating the practice, according to Canada’s federal prison ombudsman. The Ontario government has announced it is launching a review of the solitary confinement policy in provincial jails — which house those awaiting trial or who are serving terms of less than two years. Those inmates serving two years or more are held in federal prisons. It said the review will examine how segregation practices stand up against other mental-health policies.

  • RCMP investigating OPP union brass caught in alleged money laundering scandal

    RCMP raiding anotherpolice force’s union office, sealed court allegations of money laundering, members of the union executive facing criminal investigation, suspension and a scandal that has rocked Ontario Provincial Police. Unfortunately for the OPP, these allegations of allegations of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering are aimed at top union managers, who are all still OPP officers.

  • Barely-dressed toddlers found outside in freezing temperatures in Oshawa, Ont.

    Police in Oshawa announced today a man has been charged after three toddlers, all under the age of three, were found outside a home in the cold Sunday morning when it was hovering around the freezing point. “Officers responded after reports of two young children, aged one and two years old, outside a residence on Phillip Murray Avenue.

  • Homegrown terror plots and crimes fill Canadian courts and spark debate

    Terrorism-related crimes in Canada seem to be in the headlines every day now – but is terrorism on the rise, or are we just more interested in the subject? Yahoo Canada News posed those questions to a number of leading Canadian academics and terror experts. Dr. Amarnath Amarasingam has studied the radicalization question and estimates about 60 Canadians are fighting in Syria and Iraq, while the government stated last year that as many as 135 individuals “with Canadian connections who were abroad and who were suspected of terrorism-related activities” could be involved. While the numbers of Canadians involved in overseas activities may be on the rise, Amarasingam told Yahoo Canada News it would be wrong to think that political violence at home is something new.

  • Mr. Big: Controversial police technique still used, despite Supreme Court limits

    Months after a Supreme Court of Canada ruling placed restrictions on the use of Mr. Big operations, cases relying on the controversial complex stings are continuing to wend their way through the courts. Others, whose cases resulted in convictions, are hoping the Supreme Court’s decision will mean their cases get tossed out or at least appealed. Mr. Big operations are used by police to obtain confessions or other evidence as undercover police officers  who pose as criminals and offer things to induce information. Critics – and there are many – say the nature of the stings can lead to false confessions from people who want to impress Mr. Big or earn money or other incentives offered by undercover operations.

  • Courts to decide whether border guards can force you to reveal phone passwords

    Border guards have long had more powers to search individuals than police, but a case this week will finally make Canadian courts determine whether those guards can force you to turn over the passwords to your phone or computer without a warrant, legal and privacy experts tell Yahoo Canada News. For police, the law was clarified in December when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on the case of Ontario man Kevin Fearon, who was convicted after a Toronto flea market robbery. The Supreme Court’s 4-3 decision said police can conduct a limited search of a suspect’s cellphone without a warrant— but they must follow strict rules. Alain Philippon, 38, of of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que. was charged Monday under section 153.1 (b) of the Customs Act for refusing to give up his cellphone password, CBC News reported.

  • Release of Zehaf-Bibeau video coming as fear of terrorism on the rise in Canada

    With the controversial release of a killer’s video, Canadians may finally get some answers Friday from the mouth of Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on his motives for his attacks and whether he had an alternate plan or connections to terrorists. News of the video comes at a time that Canadians are feeling particularly vulnerable to more terroristattacks, according to a poll released by CBC News. Terrorist attacks on home soil became a reality last October when two soldiers were killed in unrelated attacks. Just two days later, Zehaf-Bibeau attacked and killed Cpl.

  • Security guard involved in fatal McDonald’s shooting faces police scrutiny, possible charges

    The security guard at the centre of the double-fatal shooting at a Toronto McDonald’s is assisting police in their investigation, but faces intense scrutiny and possible criminal charges surrounding the use of his firearm. Security expert Chris Menary, author of The Canadian Security Professionals Guide, said police will examine every aspect of the shooting, including whether the guard was following the strict rules that govern the use of firearms by licensed security workers. “Unless he was dropping cash there, he is going to have a real hard sell as to why he pulled his firearm unless the men tried to get his firearm or pulled a knife on him, because Ontario has strict rules for storage and use,” Menary said in an interview with Yahoo Canada News.