Brothers Film Arrest After Hanging Sign on Highway

Ben and Russ Bartholomew are activists and like any good activist they carry cameras. Just the other day the duo hung a sign above a local overpass – while wearing V masks – as a form of activist outreach. What did the sign say? Taxation = Theft. The brothers, taking a page from the Ron Paul 2008 campaign movement, choose “highway blogging” as a their form of activism to reach motorist passing by. It didn’t take long for the police to show up and spoil the fun.

The first officer on scene didn’t seem to have a problem with the sign stating, “As long as you aren’t hurting anything, I don’t care.” Shortly after that remark the officer then asks the brothers for ID and they decline to provide it. The officer then seems unclear about how to handle the ‘situation’ and calls for backup. At the peak of the incident their are atleast 5 police officers and a flurry of ‘public’ resources being used over a sign on a highway. Like a sign on or off of a highway is an unusual thing?

Ben and Russ did an amazing job of CopBlocking in this video. Though never talking to the police is your best option, the brothers are seasoned activists, they articulated their position in a calm, cool and collected manner (All while live streaming the encounter via They repeatedly stumped the officers when answering questions with questions of their own, another great tactic, and it’s clear by the video that the officers were clearing looking for something to arrest them for. Though several times the police state that they’re unsure of what laws the brothers were actually breaking. Go figure, the cops don’t know the law.

Read what the local paper had to say about the encounter here.


Ademo Freeman

was born and raised in Wisconsin, traveled the country in a RV dubbed “MARV” and is an advocate of a voluntary society, where force is replaced with voluntary interactions. He’s partaken in projects such as, Motorhome Diaries, Liberty on Tour, Free Keene, Free Talk Live and is the Founder of

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  • Wheatlander78

    5:30 “I havent threatened you at all, I havent threatened you one bit” As he stands 8″ from Bens face.

  • Dennis

    Section 185 of the California Penal Code:

    Section One Hundred and Eighty-five. It shall be unlawful
    for any person to wear any mask, false whiskers, or any personal
    disguise (whether complete or partial) for the purpose of:
    One–Evading or escaping discovery, recognition, or identification
    in the commission of any public offense.
    Two–Concealment, flight, or escape, when charged with, arrested
    for, or convicted of, any public offense. Any person violating any of
    the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a

    Seems to me like these guys were perfectly within their rights to wear their masks as a political statement, they humored the clowns in costume by removing them and then the clowns decided that wasn’t enough bullying for the day

    Fuck the cops

  • Dennis

    BTW…the smartest thing they did was broadcast this live….I LOVE modern technology :)

  • Vic

    Good for you!
    If you watch the video, it’s all right there. You guys handled this with respect to the “peace officers” when they really didn’t deserve it. Why escalate a peaceful assembly by two people into an arrest? I never carry my license if I’m not behind the wheel, and I keep my COPBLOCK press credentials in my pocket, but will only use it as a last resort. What I do and where I do it is my business, not that of the police, and not in public. Cop even told him it was OK, then fo arrest some real criminals! Some one on the video said there 5 cars here… for a made up crime, then charge them with a misdemeanor… if they (thugs w/badges) worked for me, I’d want to know who was questioning the wife beater, child molester, killer, robber…see where this is going?
    How many of you can congregate with your co-workers and harass someone you don’t know, just because you think you can. If you abuse the responsibility the comes with the badge, citizens should have the right to revoke that privilege. They revoke our privilege to drive if we abuse it, what’s good for the goose is good for the pig. If you worked for me, and in this economy… all I’d tell you is… There’s the door don’t let it hit you on the way out.

  • Digits

    Taxpayers money at work based on cop ego.

  • Ron

    Five cop cars? Really? Obviously there are still WAY more budget cuts needed in the police force

  • Ron

    And what is the cop doing even debating the tax laws with the guy?? That isn’t his job.

  • Good thing the incident didn’t happen in Florida:

    Florida Laws: FL Statutes – Title XLVI Crimes Section 876.01 Criminal anarchy, Communism, and other specified doctrines; advocacy prohibited.

    876.12 Wearing mask, hood, or other device on public way.

    No person or persons over 16 years of age shall, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter upon, or be or appear upon any lane, walk, alley, street, road, highway, or other public way in this state.


    I suspect that law, apparently from 1951, would be found unconstitutional if challenged. But there it is on the books!

  • Tanya

    Cops have become henchmen for the power people at the top that don’t want us thinking about not paying our taxes.

  • Mike

    I guess there really is no budget issues with law enforcement if they can afford FIVE freaking cop cars to be tied up over a peaceful protest. Can someone clarify the ID law? A coworker said that at anytime a pig asks for your ID you are required to provide one? As FREE citizens do we have to provide documentation 24/7 at the whim of any cop? Does this mean if you are sitting at a bus stop a pig can pull up and demand you show your ID? I was shaken down by THREE west sac pigs for riding my bike with earphones, I didn’t have so much of a problem with the one cop stopping me but when two more suddenly showed up I was like WTF? He said a lot of “homeless people” ride around with Raider jackets and break into homes! I recited my DL number, they did a check on me then told me I should “appreciate them looking out for my neighborhood this way”… my response was “oh, I really appreciate being humiliated in front of my neighbors for nothing more then trying to get some excersize…”

  • Mike

    “FUCK COPS”-Officer Jonsey from Reno 911

  • Larry Gump Virginia

    excellent work guys…..

    lemme just say 1st I found it amusing that the officer wanted to debate his political views with you on the call…..these officers are arguing “officer safety” and in the same breath have the comfort level to engage you in political debate.

    The 2nd item I find is comical is this….as a former police officer we are taught that a uniformed and badge/weapon displaying officer IS a use of FORCE in that most citizens will unconsciously comply to a police officers presence.

    You guys are on public property…..engaging in protected activities and speech.

    These officers try to infer that your fear or hands shaking is unnatural….I was waiting for one of these scumbags from trying to pre-textualy search you and claim your nervousness was grounds for a terry frisk. This is a commonly used tactic here in Virginia…..”your fear or nervousness is making me nervous and so I need to search you”.

    you guys did awesome in the face of as many uniformed LEO’s as you did…….let me say that as your incidents of interactions with police increase ,you’re nervousness will end…..of course theres always that deep seeded and well founded fear of that “rogue officer” or poorly informed or educated officer deciding to take it to the “next’ level.

    I do disagree with wearing the masks…..almost every state has a no mask law….it needs a political clause to allow those lawfully engaged in a political action…..and of course to remove it and identify yourself……which shouldnt take more than 5 seconds…..

    other than that fantastic work

  • Aaron

    I don’t think the officers debating politics with the gentlemen is a bad thing. The officers are just as free as you or I would be to stop and have a discussion with these guys. I mean, wasn’t the whole point of the display to make people start thinking and talking about these things?

    With that said, the officers were clearly in the wrong here. I am glad this didn’t end in a violent beating as we all know it well could have.

    Let us know if there’s something we can do to support these two.

  • Ron

    Debating politics is fine but not when you are in uniform enforcing the laws. It is grossly unprofessional. If he wants to debate politics do it after his shift ends

  • @Larry Gump Virginia

    Thank you, and just so you know, in the State of California it is only illegal to wear a mask for the PURPOSE of concealing your identity while committing a crime. So we are fine for wearing masks :)

  • Scott

    What everyone seems to have missed is that it’s illegal to hang signs from overpasses in the first place regardless of what they say.

    So, they were wearing masks while doing something illegal.

    Newspaper article on the arrest:

  • Joann


    The 1st cop said he didn’t know if there was a law, but that (the presumed owner of the fence…”THB”?) might not like it and ask them to take it down. And then one of the brothers started to reply that he would take it down if asked by the fenceowner, when he was interrupted and asked for ID. If the presumed owner is the State, then who is the owner, and therefore the presumed offended party? No one? Everyone? This confusion leads me to ask if you could point me to the statute violated by hanging the sign. Thanks.

  • whatever

    Cops hates freedom. They’re way worse than the Taliban.

    Cops loves to see whole families being carried out of homes in body bags and deep french kiss a pedophile while patting them on the back for destroying the lives of little children and or babies.

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  • steve

    I am a cop, and I can say this, if people are supposed to think we are “out to get them” and we are only employed to violate the civil right of the public, then whoever believes that is sadly mistaken. We don’t get paid much and the purpose of doing it is to help people. However, there are some times when it can get extremely frustrating. I.E. when you have the same guy beating the shit out of his girlfriend over and over and yet you don’t have enough to put him away. I actually used to hate cops, then I became one and I can tell you this, out of and profession (cops being 800,000 strong on the streets of America) there is no lower percentage of criminals than in any other line of work in America. We deal with more stress and are hated by a large percentage of the population (until someone shoots at them or robs them). Yet every time a call comes out of a shot fired at someone, I respond. I have personally gone to neighborhoods where I know everyone there hates cops and people are shooting at each other, but I go anyway because I have a duty to protect the people who are good but have the rotten luck of growing up in a bad neighborhood. I CARE. People who think we are assholes obviously have never had a gun stuck to their head and robbed. I have a family and I hate the idea of getting killed, but even people in bad neighborhoods need protection. These days, all it takes is one guy with a cameraphone to catch a cop on a bad day and he is eaten alive. It’s nonsense. The HUGE majority of cops only do it because they want to take evil people off the streets so the rest can be safe at night. We are not out to get anybody, only do our job with honor and make a living like the next guy. Yeah, there is always a bad apple, but compare this line of work to any other. And if you think I’m wrong, watch some videos of Russian police where civil rights don’t apply…You will appreciate cops putting boot to ass on criminals..

  • steve

    It is sad to see when people set up websites encouraging others to hate police when an overwhelming majority are only trying to help, but hey, cudos to you. In this great country you have the right to hate whoever you want….just sucks that is the people who watch over you and not the ones who just want to take your property and dignity..

  • Tom Scott

    One of the first cries you hear from the cops is they don’t get paid much. Well ain’t that tough. Just quit, you didn’t get drafted. If you aren’t getting paid enough just quit & get a better job. The second cry is it’s a dangerous job. Well please read my answer above. Just quit. When it comes down to it they just like the job. Nothing wrong with that. But please don’t cry about the job you can quit. And you know what if they desided to leave the police force life would go on. They would just hire a new person to fill that slot. There is not a single person in the world who can not be replaced.

  • White feather

    First time on the site. Been watching the vids for a while. Thaks cop block for the knowledge.