San Marcas owners filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against three restaurant owners who allegedly used racial slurs against President Donald Trump in a social media post.
The lawsuit filed by San Marca restaurant owners Luis Guzmán González and Pedro Moreno alleges the owners, José Luis Aguirre and Luis Guillermo Caminero, used a racist slur on Twitter in January, the same month the President was inaugurated.
“The defendants were in fact racist in their speech,” the complaint reads.
“Their conduct was not the way they intended to be perceived, and they violated the spirit of the First Amendment.”
The owners say they were shocked by the post.
“We’re just trying to get a message across to our customers and the community, that we don’t tolerate racism,” Aguirres lawyer, Rafael M. Gonzalez, told the Associated Press.
“They used a racial slur against Trump, and we are very happy that it was exposed.”
The lawsuit also says that Aguiras and Camineros are “under criminal investigation” for their actions.
“I can’t imagine how anyone can be racist in the face of the President of the United States,” Gonzalez said.
Aguirre’s lawyer, Miguel Garcia, said Aguirras family is not involved in the lawsuit and has not received a copy of the complaint.
“Our position is that this is a very serious matter,” Garcia said in an email.
The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday and the parties are seeking $20 million in damages.
González said the restaurant owners were trying to fight for a fair and open election.
“These defendants were trying for a better country and the American people,” he said.
Garcia said Aguirs family will not be commenting on the lawsuit.