The parents of toddlers featured in the doctored “racist baby” video shared by Donald Trump on social media have sued the president and his campaign.
The video, which has now been disabled, shows a white toddler and and black toddler with a fake CNN graphic that read “Terrified Toddler (sic) Runs from Racist Baby” and “Racist Baby Probably a Trump Voter.”
It was based on a real video shown on CNN in which the toddlers hug each other, but was manipulated to show the black child being chased by the white one.
Now Michael Cisneros, Alex Hanson, and Erica and Daniel McKenna have sued the president in New York Supreme Court seeking unspecified damages, according to thewrap.com.
After the president and his campaign used the video, created by pro-Trump meme maker Logan Cook, it was banned by Facebook and Twitter.
Cook, known as Carpe Donktum online, was also permanently banned from Twitter for repeated copyright violations and is also being sued.
In the lawsuit the families claim that Mr Trump, his campaign and Mr Cook behaved in a way that was “extreme, shocking and outrageous” and “beyond the bounds of decency.”
The legal filing also alleges that in sharing the video in June the president pushed “his brand of sensationalism in complete disregard for the truth.”
They also describe the original video as being the “epitome of love and unity” showing their toddlers “hugging and enjoying the warmth and companionship” of friendship.
The Trump campaign has not commented on the lawsuit.
But during a White House press briefing, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump had been making a “point that CNN has regularly taken him out of context.”
The video resurfaced during the protests after the 25 May killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
“Seeing that Donald Trump had shared a manipulated version of my video on Twitter, I had a flood of emotions,” Mr Cisneros told Newsweek in July.
“I was shocked and I was appalled. I couldn’t believe that the President of the United States would tweet out a video that is sharing a message of hate in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests.
“Something that could cause more division and ignite his base.”