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).
Pence and his wife, Karen, left the October 8 game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers within minutes of their arrival, after roughly 20 49ers players kneeled in protest of police brutality against blacks. President Donald Trump later tweeted to confirm that he "asked" Pence to leave if any players knelt. CREW says metro police paid almost $3,000 to regularly-scheduled officers and well over $11,000 in overtime pay.
Pence flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis and then from Indy to Los Angeles.
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.
A spokesman for the vice president didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but CREW members said Pence's walkout smacked of a preplanned stunt-and a waste of money.
Shortly after arriving, Pence ostensibly left the game in anger over a silent protest by players. "I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen", Trump tweeted.
"The tone is set at the top when it comes to this administration's disregard for ethics", the group's Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement, according to The Daily Beast.
"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", he added.