Vice President Mike Pence stopped by an Indianapolis Colts game in October but left after several players knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality in the United States. As there was overwhelming evidence that Pence attended the game with the intention of leaving when he did, critics wondered how much the extra security and travel cost and filed FOIA requests after outlets estimated that the tally could be over $240,000 for the federal government.
Now, reports indicate that Pence’s early exit also cost local police over $14,000. According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), documents show that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spent a total of $14,163.36 on additional security measures to protect the Vice President and his entourage. Via the Daily Beast:
“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.”
President Trump later credited himself with telling Pence to leave the game if players protested during the anthem. “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen,” Trump tweeted.
Likewise, Pence tweeted in solidarity with Trump’s sentiment: “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”