Man who took part in Grand Rapids riot sentenced to probation

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A 34-year-old man who took part in the 2020 Grand Rapids riots has been given a suspended sentence.

Sean Patrick Mulhall was also sentenced to two days in prison.

Mulhall previously pleaded guilty to one charge of sedition. In a plea deal, the charges of arson-preparation to burn property and habitual offender were dismissed.

Mulhall was convicted on Thursday, January 27, before Kent Count District Judge Curt Benson.

Related: Looking back at the Grand Rapids riot, the damage and charges in the “unprecedented” hand-to-hand combat

His attorney, Josh Kuiper, said Mulhall played a “de minimis” role in the riot and argued that Mulhall should only receive fines and costs.

Mulhall apologized before the judge imposed the sentence.

Benson told Mulhall he was getting a “big break” with the verdict. He noticed that Mulhall was trying to set something on fire, to no avail.

“The fact that your behavior in and of itself did no harm … remember these are people acting together and you were a part of that,” Benson said.

Benson said he was on board with the suspended sentence but advised Mulhall “not to minimize this in your own mind”.

“They were involved in a riot that cost this city millions and millions of dollars and frankly traumatized the city,” he said.

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