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.

During the campaign, Donald Trump railed against "sanctuary cities" — generally understood to be jurisdictions where local law enforcement doesn't cooperate sufficiently with federal immigration authorities. Sanctuary cities were an especially hot issue because of the death of Kate Steinle , a tourist shot by a Mexican national in San Francisco in 2015. In an August campaign speech, Trump promised to "end" sanctuary cities by blocking their federal funding. But keeping that promise will be...

Gun control has been a minor theme of this year's presidential election, as Hillary Clinton promises to close "loopholes" in the background checks for gun purchasers, and Donald Trump pledges "unwavering support" for the Second Amendment. The real battle over guns, though, has been waged at the state level this year — with a new emphasis on ballot initiatives. Washington is a prime example. Like many western states, it has a tradition of permissive gun laws; there's no minimum waiting period...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: When a New York police sergeant shot and killed a mentally ill woman last month, civic leaders responded quickly - very quickly. Within 24 hours, the mayor condemned the shooting, and the officer was stripped of his badge and gun. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, the speed of that response has angered police around the country who say it's part of a new trend to blame cops first. MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: The basic...

Law enforcement is increasingly worried about losing access to powerful tools for searching social media because of changing attitudes at the social media companies that allow the searches. Earlier this week, Facebook and Twitter restricted the bulk data access to users' information for a company called Geofeedia, after the ACLU of Northern California published a report revealing that Geofeedia had suggested to police departments that they could use the service to track protests. Social media...

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Americans are seeing more homeless camps, especially on the West Coast. A number of cities there have declared emergencies over the problem, and as they struggle to find solutions, an angry debate has broken out about how much tolerance should be shown to illegal camps that crop up in public spaces. Earlier this month, that debate got a lot more urgent in Seattle, when a young homeless man who was camping along Interstate 5 was killed by a car that careened off the roadway. A couple of hours...

The shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man, by Charlotte, N.C., police is under investigation and the circumstances are very much in dispute, but when you listen to protesters , you hear that their frustration isn't about just this one case. "I can't watch another black man getting shot on another Facebook page, another newscast. I can't keep watching it happen and nobody else doing nothing about it," says Shahidah Whiteside. A lot of people feel this sense of...

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, many beloved public spaces were abruptly closed or had their access severely restricted. At the time, the public generally resigned itself to the new restrictions as a necessary evil in a time of war. Fifteen years later, the public has stopped noticing. In some cases, such as scenic overlooks at certain dams, the government spent millions on new roads and bridges to allow the public access from less risky positions. But in other places, the...

When should police be able to deactivate your social media account? The question is becoming more urgent, as people use real-time connections in the middle of critical incidents involving law enforcement. In the case of Korryn Gaines in Baltimore County, Md., earlier this month, police said that a suspect actively using a social media connection makes a standoff worse. Gaines posted videos to Instagram of the unfolding standoff with police, who were outside her apartment trying to get her to...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: As Joel mentioned, one reason Bratton became a household name was the remarkable drop in crime rates in New York starting in the mid-1990s. New York today has one-fourth the number of murders it had when Bratton first took the job as commissioner. Joining us now to talk about Bratton's legacy is NPR's law enforcement correspondent Martin Kaste. And Martin, first, just how much did William Bratton actually have to...

On Sunday, in the hours after the attack on officers in Baton Rouge, La., police reformers were quick to condemn the killings — and there were touching efforts to bridge the divide between the black community and police, such as a cookout in Wichita, Kan. Planned as a protest, it was repurposed as a community barbecue with local police . "You see African-Americans hugging Hispanics, you see Hispanics hugging Caucasians, citizens hugging police, citizens hugging sheriffs. This is amazing,"...

The recent targeted attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge have law enforcement on edge. Some departments are telling officers to patrol in pairs when possible, and to be extra vigilant about possible ambush. Complicating matters is the question of how to interpret and react to the presence of a gun. With more Americans now exercising their legal right to carry firearms, police find themselves having to make rapid judgments about whether an armed citizen is a threat. While police are...

When you listen to the protesters, the message is clear: They think police are too quick to pull the trigger when faced with potential danger. The reality is that it's very difficult to tell whether this is something that's changing: The statistics on police use of force in the U.S. are too unreliable to say anything for certain. Still, Peter Kraska is among those who do think police have become quicker to use force. "From everything I can tell, even though, amazingly, we don't have good...

Investigators say a young African-American man named Micah Xavier Johnson was the sole attacker in Dallas Thursday night, when he shot 12 police officers, killing five. The attack came at the end of an otherwise peaceful march protesting police shootings. Speaking from Poland, where he'd been attending a NATO summit, President Obama rejected the idea that the attack was a sign of division in American society. "Americans of all races and all backgrounds are rightly outraged by the inexcusable...

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