Two years after Orange County Deputy Sheriff Brandon Coates was shot and killed on duty, a new portrait of the slain deputy is on display at Valencia College’s Criminal Justice Institute.
Coates, a Marine and veteran of two tours in Iraq, attended CJI’s basic recruit law enforcement program in 2006.
After news of his death, Orlando artist Willie Soto contacted the college and asked if he could donate a portrait of the late deputy.
“He told us that he was a troubled kid growing up in New York and a police officer set him on the right path, serving as a mentor and a friend,” said Dr. Jeff Goltz, director of CJI. “When he saw the news about Brandon, he wanted to do something to honor him. It was his way of giving back.”
Today, the portrait that Soto created hangs in CJI’s lobby. Soto, who now lives in Orlando, painted the portrait. Adolphe Delatorre donated the canvas.
Valencia also has a scholarship fund named after the late deputy. To make a donation to the Brandon Lee Coates Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit www.valencia.org.