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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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

Latecomers Bring Fresh Outrage To Weary Ferguson

Demonstrators march towards the Ferguson Police Department on Friday to protest the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Adrees Latif Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:05 am

It's been two weeks since Michael Brown was shot, and things on Ferguson's West Florissant Avenue have calmed down a lot. The street has a festive feel, like a county fair or a town square in the old days. Locals sit on lawn chairs, kids are out on their bikes, a BBQ truck belches sweet smoke, and people watch the core group of protestors — 15 people or so — walking their block-long circuit, chanting, "Hands up! Don't Shoot!"

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Law
10:43 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Even Police Body Cameras Can Lose Sight Of The Truth

Many residents of Ferguson, Mo., would like to see the police wear video cameras, like this one worn by a Los Angeles police officer.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:12 pm

Ferguson, Mo., found a degree of civic calm this week after days and nights of angry clashes between protestors and the police.

Now the city is working to restore trust with residents after a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. City leaders and residents say one way to do that might be to equip police with personal video cameras.

"All the cops have to have body cameras and dashboard cameras," says resident Alonzo Bond, "so everybody can be accountable."

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Around the Nation
4:01 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Police Militarization Becomes A Hot Topic

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:35 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, the images from Ferguson - images of heavily armed police - have triggered a national debate about whether American cops have become too militarized. President Obama pointed to that concern yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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Around the Nation
3:17 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Legal, Sure — But Polite? Washington Weighs Weed Etiquette

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 7:40 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Law
3:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Botched Ariz. Execution Renews Unease Over Lethal Injections

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 5:22 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Law
2:32 am
Wed July 9, 2014

States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back

The Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in downtown Lafayette, La. By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, but sentencing reformers have loosened some of the state's mandatory minimum sentences and made parole slightly easier to get.
Denny Culbert for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:01 am

Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.

By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.

But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.

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Law
3:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

For Prison Reform Critics, Jail Cells Spell Hope To Kick Addiction

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:54 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

In A Standoff With Montana Officials, The Justice Department Blinks

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:59 pm

The Justice Department announced Tuesday it has resolved a two-year-old standoff with the county attorney in Missoula, Mont., in what was originally a dispute over accusations that local prosecutors weren't doing enough to prosecute rape cases.

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Business
9:01 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Seattle Ordinance Gradually Increases Minimum Wage To $15

The city council has approved a measure raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The wage will be phased in over a number of years. The measure takes effect on April 1, 2015.

All Tech Considered
4:50 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Can Cop-Worn Cameras Restore Faith In New Orleans Police?

Lt. Travis St. Pierre, of the New Orleans Police Department, shows off a body-worn camera during a press conference in January.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:23 pm

Body-worn video cameras are quickly becoming standard-issue for American police, especially at departments in the process of reform. And in New Orleans, the troubled police department is now requiring almost all officers to wear the cameras.

The city's police department has a dark history of corruption, racism and brutality. The low point may have been the Danziger Bridge episode, after Hurricane Katrina, when police shot unarmed people, then covered up the crime.

These days, the department is trying to rebuild the public's trust — which is where the body cameras come in.

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