Martin Kaste

Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy, as well as news from the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to general assignment reporting in the U.S., Kaste has contributed to NPR News coverage of major world events, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 uprising in Libya.

Kaste has reported on the government's warrant-less wiretapping practices as well as the data-collection and analysis that go on behind the scenes in social media and other new media. His privacy reporting was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 United States v. Jones ruling concerning GPS tracking.

Before moving to the West Coast, Kaste spent five years as NPR's reporter in South America. He covered the drug wars in Colombia, the financial meltdown in Argentina, the rise of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and the fall of Haiti's president Jean Bertrand Aristide. Throughout this assignment, Kaste covered the overthrow of five presidents in five years.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Kaste was a political reporter for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul for seven years.

Kaste is a graduate of Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota.

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U.S.
4:59 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Nationwide Crime Spike Has Law Enforcement Retooling Their Approach

Metropolitan Division officers finish another "rollback" operation. They searched the apartment of a paroled armed robber and gang member. These rollbacks are a cornerstone of the Metro Division's strategy of tracking people who may re-offend, and suppressing crime before it happens.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 6:37 pm

Crime in America may be on the rise again. It's too early to talk about a national trend, but there have been troubling spikes in shootings and murders in big cities such as New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles.

Until recently, crime decreased steadily for two decades, and the national murder rate is half what it was in the early 1990s — so police departments are under pressure to crack down. But at the same time, their tactics are under more scrutiny from the public, and they have to be careful not to appear too heavy-handed.

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U.S.
5:04 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Scammers Turn To Caller ID 'Spoofing' To Pose As Police

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:18 pm

Most people know to hang up on con artists supposedly calling from the power company or the IRS, demanding money. The problem is, there's little the police can do — even when the scammers go so far as to impersonate the police themselves.

The fake police scam, or "spoofing," has been making the rounds for the last year or so.

Cmdr. Joseph Chacon of the Austin Police Department's intelligence division says they saw a wave of these calls this spring from people claiming to be Austin police.

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All Tech Considered
6:20 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

As Police Body Cameras Increase, What About All That Video?

Taser International is now selling police departments the technology to store videos from body cameras.
Patrick T. Fallon Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 7:09 pm

You know what a pain it can be storing and organizing the millions of videos you've shot on your smartphone. Now imagine you're a police officer, and you wear a body camera every day.

Police cams have suddenly become a big business. In the months since Ferguson, share prices for the camera manufacturer Taser International have doubled. But in the long run, the real money is in selling police a way to store all that video.

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All Tech Considered
4:33 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Questions Remain About How To Use Data From License Plate Scanners

License plate scanners have helped police locate stolen vehicles and have even assisted in murder investigations. But with their ability to track a person's every move, skeptics worry about privacy.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 7:52 pm

License plate scanners have become a fact of life. They're attached to traffic lights, on police cars — even "repo" staff use them. All those devices have created a torrent of data, raising new concerns about how it's being stored and analyzed.

Bryce Newell's laptop is filled with the comings and goings of Seattle residents. The data comes from the city's license plate scanner, acquired from the police through public disclosure requests. He plugs in a license plate number, uncovering evidence of long-forgotten errands.

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U.S.
3:29 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Police Rethink Tactics Amid New Technologies And Social Pressure

Officers stand watch at the intersection of West North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue as protesters walk for Freddie Gray in Baltimore in April. Gray died from spinal injuries about a week after he was arrested and transported in a police van.
Jabin Botsford The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 9:24 pm

This week in Washington, thousands of sworn officers gathered for National Police Week, an annual commemoration of the lives of officers who've died on the job.

This year it was hard for participants to escape the shadow of the anti-police protests of the past nine months. One of the week's events, a memorial bicycle ride, even was rerouted away from Baltimore, to make sure the nearly 2,000 officers participating in the ride wouldn't become targets.

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U.S.
6:06 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

What Happens When A Police Officer Doesn't Shoot?

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 10:15 am

Law enforcement officers have come under pressure over the past few months to rethink how they use deadly force, as a result of the string of videos of shootings by police.

But recently, police have been talking about another video — one that shows an officer not shooting.

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U.S.
6:23 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Law Enforcement Reacts To Baltimore Officer Criminal Charges

A Maryland state trooper stands guard near a CVS pharmacy that was destroyed during rioting in Baltimore this week.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:18 pm

The surprise announcement of criminal charges in Baltimore Friday morning definitely got the attention of police officers. The decision has been welcomed by protesters, but it's causing dismay for law enforcement across the country.

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Law
5:47 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Too Often, Some Say, Volunteer Officers Just Want To Play Cop

Robert Bates (left), a Tulsa County, Okla., reserve deputy, leaves his arraignment Tuesday with his attorney. Bates fatally shot a suspect who was pinned down by officers, raising alarms about volunteer police officers who wear badges and carry guns.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 6:21 pm

Bob Ball is a real estate investor in Portland, Ore., but that's just his day job. For the past 20 years, he has also been a volunteer cop.

"When I was new, it was the best time of my life. I got to go out there and wear a white hat and help people and make a difference in my community, one little piece at a time," Ball says. "That's a very, very fulfilling thing to do."

This is real police work. On one occasion, Ball had to pull his gun on a guy threatening a woman with a knife.

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Race
7:25 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Cop Shooting Victim's Family Calls For Calm In South Carolina

Originally published on Sun April 12, 2015 11:01 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:09 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

As Scott Family Reels From Police Shooting, Hundreds Turn Out For Funeral

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 9:04 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

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