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.
4:37 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Open Cases: Why One-Third Of Murders In America Go Unresolved

Detective Mark Williams (right) speaks with an officer in Richmond, Va. A decade ago, amid a surge in violent crime, Richmond police were identifying relatively few murder suspects. So the police department refocused its efforts to bring up its "clearance rate."
Alex Matzke for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:14 am

Martin Kaste reported this audio story in two parts. Listen to Part One above, and tune into All Things Considered Monday to hear Part Two. The audio for Part Two will also be available here Monday after 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

If you're murdered in America, there's a 1 in 3 chance that the police won't identify your killer.

To use the FBI's terminology, the national "clearance rate" for homicide today is 64.1 percent. Fifty years ago, it was more than 90 percent.

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U.S.
4:12 am
Mon March 30, 2015

How Many Crimes Do Your Police 'Clear'? Now You Can Find Out

Violent crime in America has been falling for two decades. That's the good news. The bad news is, when crimes occur, they mostly go unpunished.

In fact, for most major crimes, police don't even make an arrest or identify a suspect. That's what police call "clearing" a crime; the "clearance rate" is the percentage of offenses cleared.

In 2013, the national clearance rate for homicide was 64 percent, and it's far lower for other violent offenses and property crimes.

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Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Awash In Social Media, Cops Still Need The Public To Detect Threats

Some colleges and police departments are starting to use software that scans social media to identify local threats, but most tips still come from members of the public.
Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 10:30 am

On Valentine's Day weekend, Jonathan Hutson found himself exchanging tweets with somebody unpleasant: a Holocaust-denying anti-Semite, by the look of things.

Then Hutson looked up the person's earlier tweets. This guy was tweeting about shooting up a school. He said that he wanted to execute 30-plus grade-school kids."

So Hutson decided to draw the person out — "engage with him," as he puts it — to see if the threats were real.

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Law
9:18 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Police Are Learning To Accept Civilian Oversight, But Distrust Lingers

Late last month, a scuffle cut short a St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting where a committee was to discuss a proposed civilian review board for the city's police force.
Robert Cohen Courtesy of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:48 am

Late last month, during a meeting of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, a shoving match broke out among members of the public — some of them off-duty police officers.

The cause of the tension was a proposal to create a new civilian oversight authority for the police. Advocates of police reform like civilian oversight, but police officers say the boards are often politicized and unfair to them.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Police-Involved Shooting In Washington Sparks Protest

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 5:26 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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U.S.
3:40 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Family Confirms Death Of American Hostage Held By ISIS Militants

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 7:53 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Middle East
6:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

American Hostage's Parents Say They Hope She Is Alive

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 10:19 am

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

Middle East
4:49 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

ISIS Claims Hostage American Woman Killed In Jordanian Airstrike

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 1:24 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
7:01 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 12:03 pm

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.
3:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Obama's Policing Task Force Begins With Public Hearing

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 5:45 pm

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

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