An unruly crowd broke out into a full-scale riot this weekend in Huntington Beach, California, on the final day of the US Open of Surfing.
Rioters knocked down street signs, smashed cars and windows and overturned portable toilets. Cops eventually resorted to using pepper spray, and non-lethal projectiles to disperse the crowd.
The photographer of this image, who was unlucky enough to be hit by the police department’s non-lethal projectles, is based in Huntington Beach, California. He runs CaptainSoncho.org.
“When I arrived downtown, Huntington police were in riot gear and were lined up. People started throwing glass bottles and whatever they could get there hands onto. Police shot rubber bullets into the crowd. I was shot 4 times by rubber bullets and tear-gassed but that was because I was in the middle of all the chaos. I only felt threatened when a cop pointed his gun at me when I was only about 15 feet from him…”
After seeing Soncho’s photographs from this weekend’s riots, we couldn’t help but think of Nick Waplington’s Huntington Beach riot photos shot exactly 25 years earlier, also on the final day of a major surf competition.
Our Photo of the Day pick highlights a moment of exceptionally strong photojournalism, culled from the daily output of wire photographers from around the world. We post a new photo every weekday—browse our past picks here.