Evanston police are investigating letters sent to three Evanston restaurants containing “multiple and offensive racial slurs.”

Sgt. Ken Carter says the letters claimed to be from the Cook County court system, with a return address of the Skokie Courthouse, but in fact were fraudulent and the signatures of judges were forged.

The three restaurants targeted are all owned or operated by individuals with roots in other nations, or that specialize in food from those countries.

Carter says Ovo Frito restaurant received a letter on Monday, Kabul House on Tuesday, and Mt. Everest restaurant on Wednesday.

The first letter said there would be “gang consequences” if the restaurant did not shut down, Carter stated, and the letter also said, “You can’t run to the police or the courts because we are the law.”

The other two letters were similar

A news release from Chief Judge Timothy Evans said, “The Office of the Chief Judge finds the content appalling. The documents appear to be intended as a means of intimidating the recipients and others.”

Police departments in Niles, Morton Grove and Skokie are also looking into similar letters received by restaurants in their communities.

Besides the local police departments, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Postal Inspectors are investigating. The FBI and US Attorney’s Office have also been notified, according to the Chief Judge.

In addition to potential local charges, EPD’s Carter says whomever did this could possibly face federal charges as well, because the U.S. mail was used.

“We take these threats very seriously,” Carter added.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.