Vice President Mike Pence’s pre-planned stunt last month in which he performatively walked out of the Colts-49ers game cost the Indianapolis police department over $14,000, according records provided to a watchdog group.
Pence left Lucas Oil Stadium after a group of about 20 San Francisco players knelt for the national anthem. He knew the players would kneel because they had done so all season long. He wasn’t even there long enough to take another selfie with his wife and instead tweeted the same one he took at a game three years ago.
“I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence said in a prepared statement released mere moments after he walked out.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he “asked Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled.”
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department provided documents to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that show Pence’s brief visit to the city cost the department a total of $14,163.36. Most of that money ($11,427.68) was paid out in overtime.
Pence flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis and then from Indy to Los Angeles. Those flights cost taxpayers about $200,000 more than if he had flown directly from Las Vegas to L.A.
“And so, this is what systemic oppression looks like,” Niners safety Eric Reid, who knelt before the game, told reporters. “A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game, with an attempt to thwart our efforts.”