New video shows the moment a Los Angeles police officer helped save a man who blew off his hand with a firework during chaotic celebrations of the Lakers’ NBA championship win earlier this month.
The grisly footage, released by cops on Wednesday, shows LAPD Officer Christopher Gonzalez applying a tourniquet to the reveler’s bleeding arm.
“What starts as a night to celebrate champions… becomes an evening of chaos,” reads text at the start of the video, which was posted by the department on Twitter.
The gruesome injuries sustained by the man, who wasn’t publicly identified, were first reported Oct. 12, the day after the LA team’s big win in Miami, which drew a huge crowd outside the Staples Center.
But the celebrations devolved into looting and violent clashes with cops as large groups stayed downtown for hours.
The LAPD deemed it an unlawful assembly and fired beanbag rounds at crowds throwing champagne bottles at officers, local outlets previously reported.
Eight officers were injured, and 76 people were arrested, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In the video, mostly composed of body-camera footage and set to rousing music, the LAPD said that Gonzalez, a former Army Ranger, had been “prepared to face the violence and restore order.”
“In the blink of an eye this combat veteran becomes the guardian we train our officers to be,” the clip reads.
The footage shows Gonzalez rushing to the scene, taking his gloves off and handing a projectile launcher to another officer.
He then kneels beside the injured man, lifting his arm and wrapping a tourniquet around it near the elbow.
The man’s arms are blurred in the footage, but blood is visible and it’s also apparent that a large part of his left hand has been blown off.
“I can’t feel my left arm!” he cries out, as Gonzalez and other cops attempt to reassure him.
Paramedics then arrive and Gonzalez is heard briefing them on the man’s injuries.
“Left hand is like… gone,” he says. “Bleeding from the right hand, I couldn’t find the source. And then he has like a one-inch wound on his left groin that he’s holding a gauze on.”
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said last week that a dangerous explosive — the likes of which had also been thrown at officers — injured the man in the video and “blew off most of his hands.”
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