The two veteran Chicago police officers were sent to the Ida B. Wells public housing complex to work undercover and catch drug dealers. But what Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria found was nothing their bosses wanted to know about, the officers allege in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court.

The two officers, according to the lawsuit, discovered that colleagues on the police force were shaking down drug dealers and framing innocent people. But when they told their supervisors, they were told to "disregard" the wrongdoing. And when, as a last resort, they went to the FBI with their claims, high-ranking police officials labeled them "rats" and retaliated against them by putting them in do-nothing jobs.