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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Middle East
3:49 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

ISIS Claims Hostage American Woman Killed In Jordanian Airstrike

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 12:24 pm

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

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All Tech Considered
6:01 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Police Departments Issuing Body Cameras Discover Drawbacks

A Philadelphia police officer demonstrates a body-worn camera being used as part of a pilot project last December.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 11:03 am

Wearable video cameras are fast becoming standard-issue gear for American police. The cameras promise a technological answer to complaints about racial bias and excessive force.

But in fact, the beneficial effects of body cameras are not well-established yet. And the police departments that rushed to buy them are now dealing with some unintended consequences.

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U.S.
2:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Obama's Policing Task Force Begins With Public Hearing

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:45 pm

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

Around the Nation
4:21 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

When Morale Dips, Some Cops Walk The Beat — But Do The Minimum

There's been a sharp decline in the number of arrests and tickets and summonses issued in New York City. Police sometimes use work slowdowns to show dissatisfaction with policies, workloads or contract disputes.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:29 pm

Police officers in New York City are not working as hard as usual.

For the past two weeks, the number of arrests, summonses and tickets issued has dropped dramatically, and many consider it a purposeful slowdown by officers who are angry at Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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Around the Nation
1:43 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Trial Of Polygraph Critic Renews Debate Over Tests' Accuracy

A screen shot of Doug Williams from one of his videos on how to beat a polygraph test.
Screen shot/Polygraph.com

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 4:23 pm

The federal government is throwing the book at one of the most vocal critics of the polygraph test.

Doug Williams, a man who makes his living teaching people how to beat the test, will go on trial in January on charges of witness tampering and mail fraud. But Williams' defenders say he's being punished by a government that has become overly dependent on polygraphs.

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Around the Nation
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Transparency Vs. Privacy: What To Do With Police Camera Videos?

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:42 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Around the Nation
4:01 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Why Police Departments Have A Hard Time Recruiting Blacks

Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Aug. 11 in Ferguson, Mo. Renewed calls for police departments to hire more minorities have followed the shooting there of a black man by a white police officer.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 1:16 pm

Since the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, there have been renewed calls for police departments to hire more minority officers, but it turns out it's not that simple.

Police in the U.S. are more diverse than they were a generation ago. In the 1980s, 1 in 6 officers belonged to an ethnic or racial minority. Now it's about 1 in 4. The challenge these days is finding enough recruits to keep that trend going.

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Around the Nation
2:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Bertha, The Giant Borer That Broke, May Be Sinking Seattle's Downtown

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
9:19 am
Wed November 26, 2014

For Native Alaskans, Holiday Menu Looks To The Wild

Akutaq or agutak — also known as Eskimo ice cream — is a favorite dessert in western Alaska. It's made with berries and frothed with fat, like Crisco.
Al Grillo AP

When Americans sit down to their Thanksgiving meal, most tables will feature traditional fare: turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries. But should you be looking for a different kind of holiday meal, head for rural Alaska.

That's where Nellie Gamechuck lives, in a village squeezed between tundra and a bend in the river in the southwest part of the state. Ask her what's for dinner on Thanksgiving, and she opens up the deep freeze. "Walrus meat, moose meat," she says. Digging down through the layers, she reaches the dessert level: salmonberries.

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Around the Nation
1:48 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Officer's Death Raises Safety Concerns For Alaska's Unarmed Law Enforcement

Mike Myers is the roving village public safety officer serving southwest Alaska villages including Manokotak. Like many officers in rural Alaska, Myers doesn't carry a gun and often doesn't need one.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:16 pm

Americans expect police to carry guns. In most places, it's just assumed that law enforcement is always armed. But not everywhere.

One of the last exceptions to the rule is the native communities of rural Alaska, such as Manokotak, a Yupik village of about 400 in southwest Alaska. Hunters and fishermen live there in modest houses huddled along a few roads.

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