Vice President Mike Pence's infamous publicity stunt at an National Football League game last month cost the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department more than $14,000, according to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
During an October game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, Pence made a show to leave the stadium after he saw players kneel for "The Star-Spangled Banner", later tweeting that he "will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem".
On Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, revealed that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spent $14,163.36 on security for Pence. Most of that money ($11,427.68) was paid out in overtime.
Journalists covering Pence at the time were not allowed in the stadium, told instead to stay in the vans and informed by a staffer that "there may be an early departure from the game", according to CNN. He knew the players would kneel because they had done so all season long. Expenses included paying for emergency response and SWAT teams, and were in addition to the $242,500 it cost Pence to fly from Las Vegas, Nev., to Indianapolis, Ind., and then to Los Angeles, Calif., for a fundraiser he attended after the game.
"The tone is set at the top when it comes to this administration's disregard for ethics", CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.
"At a time when the administration is proposing massive budget cuts for the federal government, it is especially inappropriate to use taxpayer dollars for a political publicity stunt", Bookbinder said.