S.F. AD Exec Dies In Altercation

John M. Smart Jr., managing director of brand identity firm Interbrand Gerstman + Meyers, San Francisco –which has developed brand names such as Aptiva and Prozac–died Oct. 6 after a confrontation with two San Francisco police officers in the city’s Tenderloin District.
Authorities said Smart, 46, was shot four times after allegedly hitting, and attempting to hit, the officers with his 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL convertible. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
San Francisco authorities said the officers saw Smart trying to forcibly pull an unidentified woman out of his car. When the officers asked him to retrieve his identification from the car, Smart allegedly drove toward them, pinning one against a parking meter. Authorities said Smart ignored orders to stop and was shot when he backed up and swerved his car toward the other officer.
Smart’s friends and family are asking for an investigation into whether the officers improperly used deadly force. At press time, police were still looking for the woman, who fled the scene. Smart was on probation from a 1997 misdemeanor drug conviction. –Jane Irene Kelly