When Vice President Mike Pence decided to quickly depart an Indianapolis Colts game last month after seeing NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, taxpayers picked up the tab.
On Tuesday, it was revealed just how much it cost.
According to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spent a total of $14,163.36 to protect Pence as he sat for mere minutes of the game—and for the chief purpose of performing a political stunt.
“The tone is set at the top when it comes to this administration’s disregard for ethics,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. “Vice President Pence should know better than to use taxpayer money to make a rhetorical point, but carelessness with taxpayer money seems to be a common theme with senior administration officials.”
The $14,000 spent by the Indianapolis PD is a minute amount of what the city likely spends on policing over the course of the year. But it is in addition to a reported $242,500 that it cost for Pence to fly from Las Vegas that Sunday to Indianapolis and then back across the country to a fundraiser in Los Angeles.
At the time, President Trump had been waging a Twitter war about protesting NFL players for weeks prior. He later claimed credit for directing Pence to stage his all-too-calculated protest.
The documents obtained by CREW came in response to an Access to Public Records Act (APRA) request.